In the fall of 1997, my university built a CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) to help scientists, artists, and archeologists embrace 3D immersion to advance the state of those fields. Ecstatic at seeing a real-life instantiation of the Metaverse, the virtual world imagined in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, I donned a set of goggles and jumped inside. And then I promptly vomited.
I never managed to overcome my nausea. I couldn’t last more than a minute in that CAVE and I still can’t watch an IMAX movie. Looking around me, I started to notice something. By and large, my male friends and colleagues had no problem with these systems. My female peers, on the other hand, turned green.
What made this peculiar was that we were all computer graphics programmers. We could all render a 3D scene with ease. But when asked to do basic tasks like jump from Point A to Point B in a Nintendo 64 game, I watched my female friends fall short. What could explain this?
danah boyd provides a textbook example of systemic sexism that underpins the design of supposedly-“neutral” designs.
Consider: what are the underlying assumptions behind the design of computer systems? Are they “natural” or are the design assumptions decisions?
this is actually really interesting!
cis women and cis men use different structures of the eye to process depth & size. both of these structures are present in eyes of both able cis males and cis females, but generally one is dominant over the other. Computer programs that create virtual reality & 3D environments mimic the structure that cis men use, so many cis women can’t use 3D things like games / movies or VR nearly as well as cis men, and some can’t use them at all.
this also applies to people transitioning bc it is hormone based, so transmen get better with 3D / VR and transwomen get worse.
whooooooa does that explain why 3D movies do nothing for me?
Really? Then why do some women not get motion sick when using those things? Why do some people only get sick in real world environments? Why do people seem to get motion suck less as they get older? Is it all down to eye structure? I know in real would environments the inner ear is involved, does that have any baring in sickness caused by virtual reality?
So a new radio station just randomly showed up in my town. It plays electronic dance music 24/7, which considering the demographic of my town seems pretty odd. But what makes it even funnier is that there is a dj Loki who has a long block on there.
So I thought I would just put this out there as a possible fic prompt. Why is Loki dj-ing on a trance music station? I’m sure someone could come up with some interesting reasons.