Walking down a dark alley alone Thursday night, local woman Hannah Brewster wore an Oculus Rift programmed to simulate a virtual world where women can feel safe commuting home late at night.
“I prefer this virtual simulation where I can feel free to wear headphones and don’t need to hold pepper spray in my hand just in case,” explained Brewster, walking contentedly without constantly looking over her shoulder or obsessively reciting steps for disarming an attacker in her head. “In virtual reality, I’m wearing a dress that I like and no one is saying anything unwelcome or sexually explicit. A nice man across the street said hello as I walked by and then that was the end of the interaction.”
Brewster also often wears her Oculus Rift during shifts at her job as a barista. “I order a coffee from Hannah every morning because she is great at her job,” said Greg Pierce, a simulation of a nice, older male customer. “I never hit on her or ask for her number because she is clearly not interested in me romantically and I respect her.” At the same time in the real world, an older male customer was aggressively winking at Brewster, calling her “sweetheart,” and asking her what time she got off work so he could take her out for an expensive dinner date with the expectation of sex in return.
At press time, Brewster reportedly narrowly dodged a real-life knife-wielding attacker while enjoying a virtual trip to a party where no one called her a bitch.