DiVRsify: Break the Cycle and Develop VR for Everyone

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PubDate: Oct 2021

Teams: Davidson College;University of Florida;The University of Texas at San Antonio

Writers: Tabitha C. Peck, Kyla McMullen, John Quarles

PDF: DiVRsify: Break the Cycle and Develop VR for Everyone

Abstract

irtual reality technology is biased. It excludes approximately 95% the world’s population by being primarily designed for male, western, educated, industrial, rich, and democratic populations. This bias may be due to the lack of diversity in virtual reality researchers, research participants, developers, and end users, fueling a noninclusive research, development, and usability cycle. The objective of this paper is to highlight the minimal virtual reality research involving understudied populations with respect to dimensions of diversity, such as gender, race, culture, ethnicity, age, disability, and neurodivergence. Specifically, we highlight numerous differences in virtual reality usability between underrepresented groups compared to commonly studied populations. These differences illustrate the lack of generalizability of prior virtual reality research. Lastly, we present a call to action with the aim that, over time, will break the cycle and enable virtual reality for everyone.

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