Imagine that you are in a small room, with geometric patterns that are uncomfortable to lay eyes on. The bench under your ass is at at slant, impossible to sit on. The floor is designed make it impossible to walk anywhere but forward. This sounds like a game for Jigsaw, but in reality it is quite real. It was actually designed by anarchists who were fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Overall, virtual reality is becoming more and more popular, however there isn’t actually any evidence as of yet that implies that the CIA use virtual reality torture in secret prisons.
Virtual reality helps to create two-way channels of data that can be used for information. This allows virtual reality experts to create powerful psychosomatic links that deliver responsive experiences. In PTSD therapy, Skip Rizzo replicates personal stories that are fully designed to trigger strong responses. They measure heart rates, respiration, skin conductance, head movements, EEG and other metrics to measure how responsive the person is to the scene. Involuntary reactions can be used to refine impactful scenarios, with detailed information about what is actually going on inside somebody’s head.
If you were to create a malicious scenario however, then you wouldn’t even need to recreate the response directly. Take the Milgram Obedience Experiment for example. Subjects were asked to give shocks to people in another room, which were crude digital avatars. The people giving the shocks felt incredibly bad and uncomfortable administering these shocks, even though they were only avatars on the other side.
This alone shows how powerful virtual reality can be and the impact that it can have on our lives, and even though we are aware of the digital representation, it can still affect us as people in our emotional state.