London College of Communication is developing an innovative virtual reality project in partnership with LADbible and King’s College London to help participants empathise with sexual assault survivors, as well as develop the skills to intervene when faced with instances of sexual harassment.
The ‘Virtual Reality against Sexual Harassment’ project has secured funding through NESTA’s Amplified fund and will develop two distinct immersive user experiences.
The first experience will use virtual reality for bystander training – a recognised form of sexual assault training; and the second will involve a 360 smartphone experienced aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of sexual assault amongst online audiences.
The experiences will be developed by students, for students – with the potential of also tapping into LADbible’s global audience of over 120m across its social media channels.
The project will be developed throughout 2019 and is set to be go live towards the end of the year.
Joe Williams, Immersive Tech Lead at LADbible Group, said: "At LADbible Group, we believe in the power of relatable immersive storytelling to make a positive difference to the lives of our mass audiences.
“We are excited to be working with London College of Communication to develop and distribute VR and 360 immersive experiences that will educate and drive real world behavioural changes aimed at tackling different forms of harassment.”
Larra Anderson, Dean of Screen at London College of Communication, said: “We are delighted to announce that our joint proposal with King's College and LADbible has been accepted by NESTA.
"This is an acknowledgement of the need for a new solution to an important problem.
"By working with our partners at King's College and LADbible I am sure we will make a significant contribution to a VR solution to tackle issues around sexual harassment.”
The project follows the College's recent launch of its MA Virtual Reality course, with BA (Hons) Virtual Reality starting in autumn 2019.