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Persephone Emerald

The future of Virtual Reality.

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I recently turned the attic of my SL house into a storage space for back-up items, just in case they might accedentaly get deleted from my inventory. This space is also useful for boxing up items, so they dont take up so much inventory space, and for seeing what is inside these boxes. Symbolically I think, my attic space represents my inventory in world.

My Attic_001.jpg

It's sort of an in-world extension of my server-based inventory data.

In science fiction movies & TV shows about virtual realities there is usually some visual representation of the control center/ data storage area, usually shown as a hidden control room.

I thought then of the virual reality world represented on "Caprica" & thought we're probably only about 20 years away from something like that, The technology to see images, hear sounds & even feel sensations generated by a computer controled headpiece & gloves exists now. We know that our 5 physical senses are experienced because of electrical signals in our brains, & we're not that far from recreating those senses artifically.

I think "Caprica" depicts a believable scenario of how society would react to the ready availablity of a realistic & emersive virtual reality platform. Most people in that world are still more concerned with real life than with the artifically contructed virtual world, but many are so addicted to VR that they spend more time there than in real life.

In one scene a woman tries to get a boy to build a model ship. He says he'd rather play in the virtual world, where he can be the captain of such a ship instead. In another scene a conscious AI avatar tells a person that when people know they can't be hurt (as in a virtual world), they give in to their basest instincts for sex & violence, they become insensitive to other people, they care less about the real world & the real life consequences of their actions.

If one looks around Second Life to see what kinds of virtual worlds people create in it, one sees mostly shopping malls & private, ensular homes. Sometimes the worlds people create are beautiful & spiritally uplifting, but more often they cater to our baser drives for materialistic pleasures, sexual stimutlation, competition, power & violence. One sees dark & violent sims full of combat, vampires & torture. One sees an abandance of strip clubs, BDSM, virtual prositution & deviant sexuality.  Anyone who's been in SL for a while is so familiar with vampire & Gorean RP, that it seems practically "normal". If our virtual worlds could reproduce touch, scent & taste as they do in science-fiction VR experiences, I have no doubt people would be even more hedonistic in them than they are now.

 

 

What are your thoughts on the future of virtual reality & it's effect on people?

 

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I found myself wanting to rummage through the boxes in your attic!

And your post brought to mind this old episode of The Twilight Zone. Maybe this is what a lot of people expect from their Second Life - talk about total immersion!

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The future of Virtual Reality?

People sitting around, relaxing and discussing the topic of the day .. which happens to be ..

"The future of Primary Reality..."

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i dont think sl users are as hedonists as you describe, or can become, there are many places in sl that are motivated for the benefit of others, like charity causes, freebie stores, if a person is hedonist in rl or has that desire, its gonna fully be hedonist in sl, because it can, but if a person is by nature a generous and caring person, its gonna be equal or more caring and generous in sl.

i think sl helps to reveal the true nature, whatever that is.

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Fascinating topic and one dear to my heart. The short answer, in my opinion, is William Gibson's 'cyberspace' - an overlay of VR on RL. The long answer is more complex because it involves a transformation of the global economy. I give a brief and partial description here:

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Community-Feedback/Second-Life-Disney-and-Facebook/td-p/771909/page/2

Socially and politically, I see VR as a new frontier - not just an escape from the grinding banality of RL, but a vehicle of liberation of the human spirit. RL is becoming deadspace (We by Yevgeny Zamyatin). As for human nature, virtual reality is reality. What you see here is the true nature of mankind, not the superficial Vienna of 1912 - a perfect example of the divergence of truth and delusion. If you don't like what you see in SL (from high to low) then you don't like the human race.

As for me, I am just old enough to have caught a glimpse of the late afternoon sunshine of RL. Now we are in twilight before the VR lights switch on. I give it ten years. Then we will all have a much better life.

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Pep wrote:

And see Accelerando (by Charlie Stross) for the extrapolation of this . . .

 

Pep ( . . . which supports Kurzweil's belief that we might as well all slit our throats now.)

Posthumanism takes evolution to a whole new level. Why do you see it as something negative? I think all parents want their children to surpass them, so what could possibly be better than giving birth to something that is vastly greater than humanity?

As far as I'm concerned, pretty much anything that is intelligently designed for a change would be better than this endless cycle of random trial-and-error reproduction, with each generation starting out on the same level as a bunch of infant chimpanzees.

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Deltango Vale wrote:

...

As for me, I am just old enough to have caught a glimpse of the late afternoon sunshine of RL. Now we are in twilight before the VR lights switch on. I give it ten years. Then we will all have a much better life.

To put this into context with my reply to Pep: The ones who will have a much better life are the A.I.s that will be born in future virtual worlds, without ever having to deal with what we've come to think of as reality (except perhaps for remote-controlling nanobots that maintain and upgrade the hardware that they live on).

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in all human history there will always be people who wants to change the reality they live in (revolutionaries), to something 'better' in their concept, and when they do transform their reality to something that seems perfect, the ones who are born in this perfect reality crafted by the revolutionaries starts finding its faults, and start idealizing a new 'perfect' reality, while the revolutionaries are going to try to defend and preserve that utopia that they fighted for.

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are you sure? it might be the future rendition not a past one...  after all, it will happen again.

 

and no one pulled out the other much more interesting and modernly relevant video? you know the one... whole environment created under a time constraint just for one persons benefit ;)

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It all can get twisted but Caprica pre dates Battlestar and Battlestar ended with the remenants arriving at early human earth and "us" being the result of intermingling with the cyborg-human hybred "lucy"...lol..

Teally though doesn't it all come down to were we end up as humanity? If we are moving to a better level(kinda hard to believe just looking around these days but I'm at a hopeful stage of my life.) then technology will be a reflection of our better natures.

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my point is that "earth" could be any planet, past or future.... "This has all happened before... and will happen again", a sort of factal take on "those who do not learn from history..."

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I can remember my halcyon days as a student when we'd sit around in Bill and Andy's flat reading copies of "Heavy Metal," "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers," and drink beer while smoking pot. Having little responsibilities, we'd end up talking about "what if Middle Earth really did exist?" and "maybe we're just brains in jars held captive by aliens and how would we know?" This, of course, was pre-PC days and the computers I used then required punch card input and it took three days before your job was run. I'm guessing that nowadays, the topic is more along the lines of "What if we all end up 'Matrix-like' living in a virtual world?" or even "What if we're already in the Matrix - how would we know?"

Meanwhile, entertaining as the whole "future of virtual reality" may be, last week my back yard guttering came down and I have to fix it before the rain starts soaking the basement; my health insurance company stiffed me with a bill (again) that is supposed to be covered; the wheel bearings on the car are squealing so I need to take it in and pay some horrendous fees; Pia got kicked off "Idol" earlier than I wanted; and I'm having some hassle getting someone to pay up for some consulting work I did for him.

Needless to say, the "future of virtual worlds" ain't high on my agenda as it's tough enough handling the real one, which is, after all, the only one we've got! I mean, RL's been such a bugger lately that this is my first glance through the forums since God was a lad, so speculating on some hypothetical utopia/dystopia has the same effect on me as Gilbert Godfrey at a Japan Earthquake Relief function.

Or maybe I just need to go hit the bottle... :smileywink:

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