What Are The Pros And Cons Of Virtual Reality

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The Good and the Bad of Escaping to Virtual Reality
Researchers have been proving that new immersive technology leads to isolation. The reasons for this situation is: when social needs are met online, people won 't need in-person interaction as much. In 1975, in Silicon Valley, USA, a ragtag band of programmers began exploring the concept of virtual reality from a tiny cottage in Palo Alto. Organized by the 24-year-old Jaron Lanier, VPL Research helped make VR a buzzword in the mid-to-late 80s and earned substantial investment, before filing for bankruptcy at the decade’s end. Although mass media interest from publications like Scientific American and Wired, the technology was not there—or it was too expensive—and the audience was a bit too
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In 2003, as the futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted, somewhat hyperbolically, “By the 2030s, virtual reality will be totally realistic and compelling and we will spend most of our time in virtual environments ... We will all become virtual humans.” In theory, such escapism is nothing new—as critics of increased TV, Internet, and smartphone usage will tell you—but as Virtual Reality technology continues to blossom, the worlds that they generate will become increasingly realistic, as Kurzweil explained, creating a greater potential for overuse. This technological paradigm shift brings a level of immersion unlike any that has come before it, and the handwringing has already begun. Early doomsday predictions aside, we have a million-dollar question i.e. can virtual escapism can ever be used for good?

When researchers first began examining the connection between media consumption and life satisfaction, the oldest documented research on escapism reportedly dates back to the 40s and 50s. Peter Vorderer, in 1996, a professor at the University of Mannheim, attempted to define the term. “In its core,” he wrote, “escapism means that most people have, due to unsatisfying life circumstances, again and again cause to ‘leave’ the reality in which they live in a cognitive and emotional
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Elias Aboujaoude, a Stanford psychiatrist and author of Virtually You, The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality, “We may stop ‘needing’ or craving real social interactions because they may become foreign to us,” Aboujaoude explains. “It doesn’t mean that they can’t make our lives better; it means that we, as a culture, are no longer aware of them and of their positive effects on our lives, because we are so immersed in virtual life and have been for some time.” Also, Aboujaoude compares this change to the one experienced by digital natives, whose perception of a healthy social life has been shaped by platforms like Facebook and Gchat.

"As escapism appears to be a natural mechanism, the mind must have need for it." In Escapism, Yi-Fu Tuan writes about society’s feelings on the titular subject: “Escapism has a somewhat negative meaning in our society and perhaps in all societies. It suggests an inability to face facts—the real world.” Nevertheless, all people do
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