The Think-Tank seminar series

Violence and Virtual Reality: Studying bystander behaviour in a fully immersive virtual environment


Professor Mark Levine, SEORG, University of Exeter

Date and time

12:00 - 13:00, 8 March 2013


Research on violence (both the genesis and the reduction of violence) is fraught with practical and ethical difficulties. In this talk I will describe a number of methodological innovations that allow for the study of real life violence and third party interventions. I will begin with a behavioural analysis of a corpus of CCTV footage of street violence drawn from night-time economy zones of a British city.I will then describe a series of experiments on the behaviour of bystanders to violence that were conducted in a fully immersive virtually reality environment. I will discuss the contribution that these fully immersive virtual environments can make to experimental studies of violence reduction. If you are interested in how street fights start and stop – or how people respond when they see life sized avatars fighting – then this is the talk for you.