Sunday, November 11, 2012
Further Understanding of VR-Strate, Jacobson and Gibson
I'm further brought to the understanding of virtual reality through the continued readings in Strate, Jacobsen and Gibson. It amazes me to see how VR might change the way in which we perceive everything eliminating some of the dimensions of text in a virtual world and enhancing our visual perceptions about the world around us. What scares me the most about VR in the ways in which they are outlined in the chapters is how we might develop a virtual silence that the authors write about. This total immersion of all our visual senses has and will take us into a land of non verbal communication. We will not need to speak as most of what we will be understanding will be symbolic and visual. We will have a chance to explore worlds that we can interact with while having the ability to control the environment through the use of a joysticks or keypads. This virtual silence lends itself to a comparison of what I see happening in our society with cell phones. We become ignorant of the world and people around us and are totally emersed in the visual experience that the cell phone lends itself to be. Is it not the same to say in some ways that the cell phone has offered up a virtual experience that eliminates verbal oral and textual character based communications? I'd say so. Virtual reality is already showing up in the ways people tune out the world and emerse themselves into the hand held screens texting to others. This same central focus will be explored in a virtual world where we command the experience and foster a computerized form of isolation that takes us away from the human experience. It is an escape mechanism by no doubt of the imagination. We are focused on a synthesized world that we can control and mingle in that takes us away and out of the human experience of our everyday lives. The question arises whether VR will take us to the next level of becoming a society where text and interpersonal communication becomes extinct causing us to live in a world of computer generating images and environments that we control not allowing us to communicate with each other. Virtual reality could become the next level of what we are already doing emersed in our cell phones and texting to others without having to take into consideration, facial expression, verbal tone and body language. The art of interpersonal communication seems to be headed down a road towards extinction if we allow VR to command our lives. We're already seeing it with our children in ways in which they emerse themselves in their video games. They are oblivious to the real world and become isolationists at their central core. There is no reason to relate to others and through VR we are continued to head down a path that cell phones and video games have already begun to do to ourselves and our children. VR just seems to be an extension of a new world we create to tune out a world we are already having a hard time relating to in the first place. Float away in the virtual pond. Tune out all interpersonal communication and worldly senses. Escape to a virtual nirvana.