Living in New York’s Chinatown, I’ve learned from personal experience that ignorance creates prejudice. I took the idiom, “Before you judge someone, walk a mile in their shoes,” as inspiration for my design. In order to empathize with another person it is helpful to understand their experiences, challenges, and culture. GlobalEyes is a virtual-reality program that brings users to different cultural experiences. Chinese culture is one of many available in GlobalEyes. Each cultural experience provides explanations, immersion, and stories of traditional landmarks and celebrations. Real people from each location will interact with the user, supplying more moving and personal encounters. Using a VR headset provides a realistic sensory experience that places the user into a culture they wouldn’t have had the chance to experience otherwise. Users become immersed in how others live, and engage in unique interactions with the hope that they will gain more respect for the culture and its people.
Featured Image: Lake Wiesmayr-Cheuk, grade 11, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, New York, NY