Dissimulation, Disability Rhetoric, and the Application of Virtual Reality-Based Therapy

Kristopher Purzycki


Advocates of disability right have been vocal about the terminology used to describe disabling conditions and the rhetoric used to address or speak to those living with them. In light of the upcoming wave of commercial virtual reality technology, this paper reflects on the language used to describe VR experiences and recommends a slight shift in the way we refer to digital environments. Specifically, advocates prefer language that implies a possession of a functional condition rather than a lack of function or loss of a limb. Considering this, we might use Baudrillard's term dissimulation rather than simulation, to describe the VR experience for disabled persons.