E21 The Avatar Psychology of Pacific Rim (feat. Dr. Andrea Stevenson Won)

In this episode, Dr. Andrea Stephenson Won and host, Robby Ratan, analyze the film Pacific Rim (SPOILERS!) as it relates to her research in the Virtual Embodiment Lab at Cornell. We discuss the idea of many-to-one avatars (e.g., two-pilot Jaegers,) the psychological effect of proximity perceptions (e.g., does it matter if the pilot is in a mech or not) and the very definition of avatars in consideration of these concepts.

She also shares some interesting findings from her research and recommendations for science fiction that help broaden our understanding of these exciting future media technologies.

Stephenson Won is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Cornell University. She directs the Virtual Embodiment Lab where they research how mediated experiences change people's perceptions, especially in immersive media.