The National Digest

You Can Now Practice Firing Someone in Virtual Reality

Meet Barry—his sole purpose in life is to listen patiently, then protest or sob a little as you fire in from an imaginary job in virtual reality.

Disposable hero: was created by Talespin, a company that offers virtual reality workplace training. Barry and other VR characters were developed by the company to help teach people “soft” management skills—such as how to let someone go without causing a scene. If you are too blunt with Barry, he’ll put his head in his hands; other missteps will cause him to shout and yell.

Learning tool: This might seem bizarre, even dystopian, but virtual reality is gaining momentum as a training tool. The technology can provide a heightened sense of realism that aids the learning process, and it can allow people to practice doing things that would be impossible otherwise. VR is used to teach people to perform safety tasks, for example. But it is also increasingly being used to train new employees at places like Walmart and Chipotle.

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