Victoria Alonso, Marvel’s executive VP of physical production, urged virtual reality creators to tone down the violence at an industry conference on Friday.
“You need to be selective on what you want to put in kids’ minds,” Alonso said. “I think we have a responsibility as storytellers to engage and create hope and adventure as opposed to violence and despair.”
Alonso was speaking at VR on the Lot, a two-day virtual reality conference at Paramount Studios. The conference featured demonstrations of cutting-edge technologies from dozens of VR companies, and discussions about how and when VR will become mainstream.
In her talk, Alonso said that Marvel is still evaluating technologies and hasn’t settled on a VR strategy.
“I’m trying to figure out what it is and how do we use it as a tool,” she said. “We just need to figure out how do people want to use it. Is it outside a theater, so it’s in a booth? There are plenty of places in China doing that. Is it at home? … We keep on searching. We haven’t taken big leaps. We don’t know where to go with it. Once we go, we will go for long. But we’re still in the stage of investigating.”
Alonso also encouraged VR companies to emphasize gender parity in the workplace. “I’m usually the only woman in the room,” she said. “My advice is for the men: You will be better if you are balanced with 50 percent women in your rooms.”
As the mother of a six-year-old child, Alonso said she often thinks about how entertainment affects children’s development. She said she sometimes finds herself having to defend Marvel movies to other parents at the playground.
“So much of what we put in front of our children makes an impact forever,” she said. “I get it. Everyone likes to get in a game to shoot things. We do it in our movies. We try to do it less, and in a way that is not a shot to the heart. But if you can create something that explores the mind, thought and hope or invention, why wouldn’t you do that?"