IMD IPD mind meld

Friday, November 24, 2006

Virtual reality

In this lecture we were shown a video from 1991 about Virtual reality which was very interesting because it let us see what VR was like in the past and what they expected it to be by now. Virtual reality is a big part of our lifes and a qoute from In love with reality, truly, madly, virtualy(http://www.artn.com/ARTN_VRTIMES.pdf) sums it up well
"reality, it seems, is not all it's cracked up to be."
However this paper also suggest that virtual reality has in a way fallen out of favour with people, there is no more giant head sets and joysticks of the early 90's virtual reality but instead there is deeply engrossing multi-player games where people can still interact in cyberspace but they are looking at a screen and not using viewing glasses. So why has Virtual Reality fallen by the wayside. It is suggested in the paper that artists are not wanting to mimic the real which is essentially what virtual reality is even if they do create photorealistic worlds they dont conform to real world physics therefore making them unreal. It could also be that the idea of a real virtual world scares us, the matrix is a real virtual world, real enough to fooling us into believing us it is real. Maybe subconciously we fear this will happen, this does not seem to be a new thing either. In the television program Red Dwarf they are fooled, in one epsiode, to believe that the world they have been living in is a game, a virtual game that they have been playing for years. A further twist is added in this episode when it turns out that the "game" is the real world. So maybe there is a subconcious fear of virtual reality in its pure sense but in its forms of games and help programs for phobias it seems to be very popular.
There is an experimental treatment for acrophobia(fear of heights) using virtual reality to help people get over their fear, they put themselves through scary situations in the safety of a virtual world, a world that is in looks real but in many other ways comfortably virtual.
So it would appear that no VR hasnt fallen out of favour but that its focus has moved into other areas, its completly imersing technology is being used eslewhere in more useful applications. The proper VR game may be a while off but VR is definatly still with us.

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