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Will Virtual Reality Become The Ultimate Trainer For Criminals?
- Mar 14, 2018 -

In the 1990s, those who played games all their lives were still young. And now, 25 years have passed, we have fallen into the phobia of moral panic, and some people have begun to misinterpret the game and think of them as murder simulators. Of course, this does not mean that people will not try.

Stanford's virtual reality professor Jeremy Bailenson published an article in which he believes that video games, especially virtual reality, are dangerous training devices:

Last week, Dick Sporting Goods banned the sale of assault rifles. Wal-Mart raised the age of all gun buyers to 21 years old. When our politicians debated what to do next, these companies have already taken quick action. Those VR hardware and software companies that have designed best-selling video games should follow suit.

Video games have a mission: entertainment. But companies that create and market them must have social and ethical awareness. They must consider that the game they are developing is accumulating various experiences for the player, especially in the first person shooter game.

At least one of the documented murderers uses first-person shooter games to improve his fighting skills. According to the Guardian, Norwegian gunfighter Anders Breivik stated that in 2012 he used the “holographic aiming device” in the game “Call of Duty” to develop his target capture capability.

Although Breivik played a two-dimensional game, virtual reality can take skill acquisition to a new level. Players can look around, rather than just staring at the screen, or even touch the handheld device to simulate the touch. Most importantly, players use their arms and bodies to perform actual combat actions rather than just pressing buttons.

As a result, the motor system in the brain is activated and repeats movement in the VR environment, which just exercises the player's performance in the real world. In other words, virtual reality becomes the ultimate training machine.

For decades, the military has been using virtual reality to train soldiers. Today, the NFL quarterbacks are also working hard to improve their skills through virtual reality. For those retail employees, they are also using virtual reality training for service skills training.

My point is not to say that VR games will cause people to become violent, or that law enforcement personnel or the military should not touch them. Instead, if a suspiciously large gunman wanted to hone his skills, we should not give him a virtual digital training camp. We can also take some measures to strike a balance between entertainment and safety.