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SXSW 2019

VR and AR Is Here and Culture Is the Problem

No longer a fad, VR and AR is a powerful platform for creatives in business, art, and entertainment. But after decades of HMD and software development, the real challenge is not technology but culture. If the perception of social media moved from unbridled enthusiasm to congressional hearings and debates over political influence and privacy, VR and AR will raise profound challenges on the ethics of virtual experiences. Since VR hijacks our senses, will there be calls for emotional sensitivity warnings? As creativity tools are democratized, will we game virtual experiences the way we do Google’s algorithm? We explore controversial projects, high-profile failures and a future world where creatives, designers, and marketers will navigate a deepening maze of cultural feedback and distortion.

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  1. Examine how the most fundamental challenges in developing immersive technologies will be cultural, not technical.
  2. Analyze the controversies and failures around early high-profile immersive experiences.
  3. Identity future challenges raised by VR, AR, and Mixed Reality as creativity tools are democratized and immersive technology enters the mass market.



Emory Craig, Cofounder, Digital Bodies

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: VR/AR/MR
  • Level: Intermediate
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