Pride celebrations: virtual reality to raise awareness

As part of the Pride festivities, the public will be invited to put themselves in the shoes of LGBT people, thanks to virtual reality workshops.

Pride celebrations: virtual reality to raise awareness

As part of the Pride festivities, the public will be invited to put themselves in the shoes of LGBT people, thanks to virtual reality workshops.

The workshops, developed by the Jasmin Roy Sophie Desmarais Foundation, aim to make participants aware of microaggressions and inappropriate behavior.

“In the scenarios we present, we are not in major aggression. Because microaggressions, which people do not understand very well, these are situations that we often see appear in our lives,” explained Jasmin Roy, president of the eponymous foundation.

Four scenarios are presented to the public as part of these virtual reality workshops. In each of them, the spectator finds himself as a spectator during a scenario. During the first, for example, we observe a discussion, from the passenger seat of a car, between a driver and her partner, seated in the back.

However, the viewer has no control over the actions that will take place, the experience being purely "cinematic", and therefore not incorporating elements of interactivity as video games do.

“These are experiences that are difficult to demonstrate in testimony. That's why we wanted to do it that way, ”said Mr. Roy. He believes that the evolution of technologies and mentalities means that it is now possible to offer viewing to the public.

After each of the four presentations, a short discussion session is proposed to the participants.

“What we favor in our approach is to develop relational and emotional skills,” summarized Mr. Roy.

The initiative was able to benefit from the collaboration of the City of Montreal, among other partners.

“I find it extraordinary that technology is used to develop empathy. Montreal, we want to position ourselves as a place where we can live, no matter who we are. For that, you have to create a conducive environment, and that goes through education, ”said municipal councilor for Projet Montréal Robert Beaudry.

In the shoes of an LGBT person will be presented on August 3, 4 and 5, at Place du Village. Subsequently, it will be possible for different organizations to contact the Foundation to present the workshop to their members.

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