The Ethics of Empathy in Virtual Reality

So many have hailed VR as the ultimate ‘empathy machine’ capable of deepening empathy and recognition of another person’s humanity. But what really are we to make of this technology, the capacity for producing or enhancing empathy, and the ethics that attend it? Once we can put aside the all-too-familiar bid to techno-utopianism, what are the possibilities and limits? What are the questions we should be asking?