Yuka Fukuoka, ’18, is using virtual reality to help people who stutter navigate social anxiety. And today, she’ll exhibit her work at the 15th annual Games for Change Festival.
VRbal, Yuka’s thesis project, is designed to guide those who stutter through the job-seeking process. While preparing for interviews or public speaking events, some people turn to role-playing with a family member or friend. Because of the comfortability of working with someone they already know, though, those who stutter are not able to accurately process how they’ll deal with the actual stress of the activity.
VRbal offers a solution: By placing users in a safe virtual environment where they are able to make mistakes, they learn to overcome anxiety to better communicate with employers and colleagues.