Reflection - Athleteactivism/Design-doc Wiki

The inspiration for this project follows a summer of civil unrest focused on the Black Lives Matter movement, specifically on the professional athletes involved, following the tragedy of George Floyd's death. The goal for our project is to help the target audience, which are people who watch sports and believe athletes should not be able to speak on anything that does not deal with sports, understand the perspective of an athlete and why their voices and opinions should not be invalidated. Our team learned a lot through the research done in this process. Everyone had prior knowledge of the issues these athletes faced but as we tried to build the perfect VR experience, we learned more and more about the struggles and trials athletes faced growing up and how their voices being heard is now more important than ever. A lot of what connects our group members to this project is either we are minorities and/or we play a sport. We have all been told that our opinions do not matter based on who we are and how we are subjected to speak on a certain topic that only represents a small piece of our lives, just like these athletes are. The main controversies within this topic point to the idea of who is right and who is wrong. Essentially, both sides of the argument think they are fighting for the right cause. With one side thinking that kneeling will promote change with regards to systemic racism and the other thinking that the people who fight for our rights are being disrespected with the action of kneeling. When people have a set mindset, it becomes very difficult to change their opinion so to help the other option understand what is wrong, one must approach them subtly and we believe a lot of comparisons must be made to help. The most ideal way to try and understand how someone thinks is to put yourself in their shoes. We believe the best way to solve this issue is through a virtual reality experience. VR allows users to put themselves in the shoes of others and is the closest thing we have today to actually living through somebody's eyes and embodying them. One of the main challenges we faced while designing this project was adjusting to the new technology that was being used while developing a story to put on that platform. We had to restructure our original approach mainly because the task turned out more complicated than we had originally envisioned it to be. We really hope you see the importance of our project and see the potential it has to bring upon change.