Fancy watching an online version of the popular BBC Show, but with a local slant?
As part of the Being Human Festival 2020, the ContactVIRT project at Queen’s University will be hosting their own version of the show involving two groups comprising “Catholics” and “Protestants” in Northern Ireland who will play the game in virtual reality (VR). One team reads a story while members of the opposite team quiz them and decide whether the story is true or a lie. This pre-recorded event will be streamed online.
What’s it all about?
The ContactVirt project’s primary objective is to reduce sectarian prejudice between members of the two largest religious communities in Northern Ireland through the use of VR. Research in social psychology, particularly the “contact hypothesis”, suggests that sustained interactions between members of rival groups can lead to decreases in prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. However, having intergroup interactions in real life can be difficult to achieve because of different cultural, ideological, religious, or even physical barriers; therefore, alternative ways for bringing members into interaction in a “safe” way, such as technology-mediated contact, are being explored.
The ContactVirt project also aims to engage non-academic audiences and to make scientific research more approachable. For this reason, we partner with the Community Relations Council of Northern Ireland (CRC) for most of our public activities and events. The CRC has been essential in connecting our project with community and peace-building organisations in a two-way dialogue.
Another key partner is the Nerve Centre through its Culture Lab exhibition, part of its bigger project Making the Future. With the tagline 'Don't Believe the Stereotype', the exhibition takes a playfully provocative approach, and includes the famous 'Differences' blackboard from the hit TV series Derry Girls. The blackboard sits alongside a new interactive installation, inspired by the iconic prop that will test visitors' preconceptions and challenge traditional stereotypes among Catholics and Protestants.
For further information on the UK-wide Being Human Festival, please click here.
|Name||Dr Salvador Alvidrez Villegas|