Cultural Embodiment in Virtual Reality Education and Training: A Reflection on Representation of Diversity
This reflection paper presents an argument with justification for including diverse representations of embodied self in the design of virtual training systems and smart learning environments. A great number of VR training programs exist and they are becoming more widespread with the advent on consumer VR. Evidence supports that embodiment of self through avatars impact engagement and transfer of behavior outside of virtual space. It is important that these factors are taken into consideration during the initial stages of development, as it is much easier to design a system with a diversity component and opportunities for customization than it is to redesign an existing system to represent diverse users. This discourse is informed by perspectives from literature on cognitive and behavioral effects of embodiment in virtual spaces. This is also informed by insights from the multi-billion dollar game industry that has struggled to include more diverse representations in recent years.
KeywordsVirtual Reality Training Diversity Inclusion Instructional Design Immersion Mixed Reality
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