Virtual Reality for Criminologists: A Roadmap

To appear in: Crime & Justice: A Review of Research, vol. 52 (2023/in press)

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law Working Paper No. 2023/05

56 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2023

See all articles by Jean-Louis van Gelder

Jean-Louis van Gelder

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law

Date Written: June 18, 2023

Abstract

Virtual reality technology offers unique and as yet largely untapped potential for criminology. It can address problems that have traditionally plagued the field, provide an ecologically valid alternative for conventional research methods, create novel possibilities for theory testing, and allows for the study of phenomena that are difficult to study in the real world for ethical, safety, or practical reasons. This article reviews the budding research literature using VR in criminogenic contexts as well as relevant research form other disciplines, and explains the technology’s basic features, current limitations, and ethical challenges. It concludes that within the foreseeable future, VR may become the criminological equivalent of the petri dish, offering the possibility to study the unfolding of highly complex behavioral processes in very detailed ways, and help achieve step changes in our understanding of crime.

Keywords: virtual reality, criminal decision making, immerse technology

Suggested Citation

van Gelder, Jean-Louis, Virtual Reality for Criminologists: A Roadmap (June 18, 2023). To appear in: Crime & Justice: A Review of Research, vol. 52 (2023/in press), Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law Working Paper No. 2023/05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4510210

Jean-Louis Van Gelder (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law ( email )

Guenterstalstr. 73
Freiburg, 79100
Germany

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