China uses VR to discourage children from abusing drugs
Virtual reality is getting its way into more and more headlines as of recently. It’s most famous use is in the gaming world, but China has other plans in mind.
As part of the UN’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, children in southern China were able to “experience” some side effects of drugs.
The children were given a VR headset, which then showed a video full of psychedelic colours and swirling shapes. The idea was to give them a rough idea of what it’s like to take narcotics.
Funnily enough, the experience appeared to work on a lot of the kids. Several of them described the experience as scary and very uncomfortable.
The use of a VR headset would be a lot more effective than just a straight video on a screen. Children said it felt like their body was moving and it was fairly nauseous.
However, as usual there are people that aren’t so impressed who feel the need to hide behind their comments on the internet.
Social media outlet Weibo described the experience as a “child frightening technique”. Well… yeah? Taking narcotics can be a frightening experience, better they know now rather than later.
Not everybody was a downer though, a lot of other outlets praise the experience for giving children a more realistic view on the discomfort that drugs can cause, without actually taking them.
Personally, I don’t think it’s all that bad an idea. Specific drugs like MDMA and LSD can inflict hallucinations, seizures, confusion and nausea, and giving people an insight like this would maybe discourage them.
It does forget one thing though. While you experience these hallucinations, you are in fact high as a kite. That’s why people do it in the first place. This experience doesn’t quite simulate that bit.
The VR experience appeared to be a one off for the UN campaign, but there are plans to use this type of technology is rehab centres as well as to further educate children.