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Students Use Virtual Reality to Learn How To Avoid Exploitation
Texas Association of Student Councils to Experience TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story at Annual Conference
"The Texas Association of Student Councils chose human trafficking as its project this year, and we have been thrilled with the participation,"
REEF worked with experts in the anti-trafficking field with the prevention of child exploitation in mind. During the story of TRAPPED, users learn how Lisa was manipulated into becoming a victim by a boy she met online, which is a very common way children begin being groomed. Facts of the story relate to the "Recognize the Signs" campaign by the Polaris Project, a leader in human trafficking issues in the United States. Users learn these signs from Lisa's experience instead of a sheet of paper, and the personal connection increases retention of the material.
"This is a great opportunity to speak with a broad range of educators and students, and we believe students will engage with the technology and the topic," says Billy Joe Cain, President of the Austin-based Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF), a Texas non-profit dedicated to the eradication of human trafficking. Human trafficking is modern day slavery, and is a huge issue around the world, but many people don't realize it's happening in their neighborhood. Cain continues, "The numbers are staggering, but instead of shocking people with them, we are focusing on creating empathy and compassion for victims, because we want to show that this happens to real people. Everywhere."
While there are strong topics in the dialogue, there is no graphic violence that would shock users.
"Virtual Reality can be described as being in an interactive movie," says Cain. "Once you put on the headset and headphones, you are transported to Lisa's apartment that she cannot leave." The experience also takes you back to her childhood home, before she was trafficked, and she describes how she met and left home with her boyfriend that became her pimp.
Educators, parents, and students are invited to come experience TRAPPED in person and look over the additional materials provided to teachers that allow the conversation to continue beyond the VR experience. TRAPPED is playable on HTC Vive, a room-scale VR system.
ABOUT RADICAL EMPATHY EDUCATION FOUNDATION
Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF) is an Austin-based nonprofit currently developing immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences dedicated to the eradication of one of the 21st century's greatest injustices: Human Trafficking. To support REEF's work, please visit https://www.radicalempathyfoundation.org/
ABOUT TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF STUDENT COUNCILS
The Texas Association of Student Councils (TASC) is a non-profit organization serving high school and middle level student councils in Texas. Sponsored by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals, TASC is the Texas Affiliate of the National Association of Student Councils. Its purposes are to develop leadership abilities in students, promote democracy as a way of life and establish and uphold high standards for local councils. Organized in 1937, TASC has grown to serve more than 1300 member schools in Texas. Any junior or senior high school, public, parochial or private, may become a member of this organization by paying the annual membership. More information:
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Page Updated Last on: Mar 08, 2018