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Google Gets Tough on VR Bullies

Paul Rubens - August 11, 2016 - 07:22 AM
Google Gets Tough on VR Bullies
Google is investigating ways to stop trolls from spoiling the fun in virtual reality.

(CCM) — Google's virtual reality group, Daydream Labs, is actively experimenting with ways to crack down on bad behavior in shared virtual reality environments, Robbie Tilton, a virtual reality interface designer at Google, said in a blog post. A person reaching their hand through another player's head or attempting to stand inside another player's body during a multi-player game can be a problem because it can make that player feel uncomfortable or unsafe, he said. He added that, in experiments, "people stuck hats on friends anywhere they would stick — like in front of their eyes. This had the unfortunate effect of blocking their vision."

When players started to misbehave, Google tried turning their virtual reality environment black and white and making them disappear from other players' views. This was often enough to discourage bad behavior, Tilton said. More aggressive behavior, such as a player attempting to punch someone, was simply blocked from being portrayed in the virtual reality environment. Google also tested incentivizing good behavior in order to encourage it. For example, when two players "high fived" each other, the company found that triggering a loud slapping sound and a fireworks animation received an enthusiastic response from the players.

Image: © Google.
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