Sometimes we must walk in someone else’s shoes to gain perspective. But if those shoes are too dirty and depressing to wear, walking around in virtual reality should be good enough.
That’s what executives at the CEO Sleepout learned when this year’s charity event used the power of VR headsets to break the cycle of homelessness!
The Australian charity initiative from the St. Vincent de Paul Society brings together Aussie CEOs every year to “sleep out” for one night and experience for themselves how the homeless live every day.
The event rakes in money to the charity, with people able to “sponsor” one of the hundreds of CEOs roughing it through the cold with nothing but a piece of cardboard to lie on.
But one of the new additions to this year’s event sparked outrage online: a virtual reality experience that allowed CEOs to “get a glimpse of the realities faced by the people who experience this every day.”
The CEO Sleepout account tweeted out a video of CEOs getting a taste of homelessness through the window of their VR headsets, and Twitter users quickly harpooned organizers for being (quite literally) out of touch with reality:
Our Sydney CEOs using virtual reality to get a glimpse of the realities faced by the people who experience this everyday. #CEOSleepoutAu pic.twitter.com/b53wqESdLA
— CEOSleepout (@CEOSleepout) June 22, 2017
When you want to be woke but don’t actually want to mingle with the dirty poors
— Uncanny Valley Forge (@faust_arp1990) June 22, 2017
Yes! Dealing with the virtual cold, the virtual violence, the virtual hunger, the virtual untreated illnesses, the virtual despair …
— David Scott Aubrey (@davidakaclean) June 22, 2017
Next year’s CEO sleepout: we take our brave leaders on a tour of a gallery that includes a portrait of a below median income earner
— Max Chalmers (@MaxChalmers90) June 23, 2017
It’s gonna be weird when they don’t give a shit because all you did was make them watch a video, huh?
— Hank Single (@Hanksingle) June 22, 2017
Really happy to see you waste 10 grand of funding on making a homelessness simulator for Tech babies
— ROMEOS DISTRESS (@BRUCE_STADIUM) June 23, 2017
Drop the headsets, y’all. This shit just got real.
Maybe next year they could pay a visit to the actual homeless? Or, dare we suggest, invite someone experiencing homelessness to the event and have a little dialogue?
Tone deaf exhibits aside, the charity has done a lot of good for the cause. The CEO Sleepout has raised almost $5 million and will provide assistance to thousands of young and old Australians experiencing homelessness.
[Image via Twitter.]