VR and our Scary Future

That video that we watched in class really stuck with me. It just seems like that is not only possible but very probable… Especially combined with the story about the man in Japan who married a hologram. It seems to be that having hologram replacements to meet our needs will become increasingly commonplace and I wonder how far it will go? Take relationships for example. If there is already a hologram that’s able to replicate a relationship, one worth marrying for example, and VR porn is already a thing, how long before an entire intimate relationship can be replicated? Is this going to be the new form of internet dating or is it utterly divorcing people from an ability to intimately connect with another person? If you have the option of having a virtual relationship with a program, one that is designed specifically to meet your every need and never fight with you, will “real” relationships survive this? What impact will that have on our society? Not really any answers here but I’m definitely finding VR to be scarier and scarier…

2 responses to “VR and our Scary Future”

  1. selena chen

    “My theory is that Facebook is an addictive technological drug that, like every drug, gives people temporary pleasure and, ultimately, causes many people to become psychiatrically ill,” he writes. “And my theory is that the Oculus VR will make matters worse.” – https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/facebook-twists-reality-again-and-risks-ruining-your-children

    Thank you, Jonah for the comment. Like you, I also have similar questions regarding VR and its impact on society. The quote above indicating perhaps my biggest query. If virtual reality acts in a similar way to drugs, and there are many questionable aspects to VR that we cannot yet grasp, then where are the regulations to limit time spent in the virtual reality or conduct in the VR?

    Will we one day be faced with a similar situation as Ready Player One? Where our world has gone up in flame around us but it doesn’t matter because we have an escape in the form of an world with limitless resources. Also, like the short video we watched in class on Wednesday of last week, if we allow virtual reality its unfettered development, will we be okay with one day allowing ourselves to sit in physically barren rooms if the room in our virtual reality world is filled with what we want.

    I feel like the impacts of VR won’t be felt until we see addiction start becoming reality. But by then, it will take us more time and resources to curb the addiction then if we were to be able to regulate it from the offset.

    While I strongly disagree with a prohibition of VR because I feel like there are also many benefits to this technology (I think the benefits of VR extends beyond just gaming, for example, doctors may be able to use VR to simulate practice operations before conducting it on actual humans), I also think we need to regulate it more. Especially because with VR, we have the same problems as general online behavior – people are “protected by anonymity” and thus likely to act in ways that are more controversial – blatant sexual harassment of female gamers being one example. If we don’t control and regulate starting from the beginning, we may have a generation of children growing up with this “protection of anonymity” and a lack of capacity to distinguish between the VR and the “IRL”.

    If VR is advanced to a point where it makes you feel so immersed in it that it actually feels real (because isn’t that what we aspire to?), then if you commit a murder in the VR, should you be able to just shake it off and say “it’s not actually real” or should you be held accountable? Is a crime a crime if the crime does not impact someone in reality? We may be able to make this distinction mentally, but for the next generation that will grow up with this technology, will they be able to also make this distinction?

  2. bastiaan van schaik

    The question arises if there will still be a line between virtual reality and reality itself in the future. I agree with Selena that VR has a lot of benefits to it, but I’m against regulation. Online behaviour can be toxic but I feel more comfortable with developers or communities themselves addressing that problem rather than government interference. I do think VR will, at some point, provide immersion on a level close to “the real thing”. A generation growing up with that technology might, therefore, have problems distinguishing what can be seen as multiple realities. Then again people could’ve had similar feelings back in the days when it comes to new technologies like 3D vision. Is VR really going to be a problem, or could it just be a hype?