Participatory Design of a Virtual Reality-Based Reentry Training with a Women’s Prison

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PubDate: May 2019

Teams: Emerson College,Newcastle University

Writers: Melissa Qingqing Teng;James Hodge;Eric Gordon

PDF: Participatory Design of a Virtual Reality-Based Reentry Training with a Women’s Prison

Abstract

This study examines the participatory design process of a virtual reality (VR) reentry training program with a women’s prison. Conceptually drawing on previous work in VR exposure training, this prototype consists of guided, first-person 3D-360° video episodes that depict psychologically stressful situations that women commonly face when returning home. Critical story and production elements, including screenplay, acting, and narration, were created with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women. The institutional, technological, and cultural restrictions of prison, combined with the tensions of making media with often exploited groups, forced adaptations of participatory design methods. The inclusion of incarcerated female voices resulted in an immersive narrative that reflects this group’s specific challenges. The next phase is to evaluate its efficacy against non-immersive comparative trainings for reentry-related anxieties.

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