VR- Digital Lives
As any child of the 80s when Home Video began I’ve had the idea of VR with me for most of my life, but its possibilities, its real world potential to be more than a diversion, an entertainment, have only become apparent to me in the last decade or so
Science Fiction has given us VR that simulates life, simulates Cyberspace, simulates adventures, immerses us in strange new worlds.
But what about something more?
What if VR could be a symphony? A novel? A painting? Something beyond the concept of linear experience, beyond our commonly held concepts of visual media?
A recent twitter conversation with cutting edge creator Monika Bielskyte prompted me to tweet:-
Music, in any language, can touch you deeply, move you to tears, make you want to dance.
Good VR, same.
VR, or Immersive Digital Life, can give you experiences beyond just reading the novel, hearing the music, watching the movie. You can live it, you can feel whats its like to make the decision, you can experience the created worlds, be it past, present, future, human or alien. You could experience the longing in Moonlight, rummage around looking for “Rosebud” or fight The Battle of Yavin.
VR can be the next stage in entertainment, full of blockbusters, comedies, love stories, and moving narratives. It can be the next art form, built on the foundations of books, painting, music, movies, taking the visual and aural, making something new that can be more than all of them, and as moving and impactful.
But that is just transforming the old media into the new media, full VR has the potential for you to live the life you should have, or need to. Immersive Digital Therapy could help you move beyond the confines of what has blunted you in your life. Trauma, given the right Immersive Digital Experience, can be neutralised, we can make you whole. We can Digitally Dream you better.
Of course the the potential for abuse, for Digital Violence, is full of unspeakable horror. In the Richard K Morgan novel “Altered Carbon” set in a far flung future, consciousness is no longer limited to physical flesh, where the mind can be simulated through any experience you can imagine. In this future, power and corruption haven’t left the human race, and your digital mind can be put through psychological VR torture that can feel like years in minutes. And in our time, the recent case of the Newsweek journalist Kurt Eichenwald being digitally trolled into an epileptic fit, could be just the beginning. Malicious users, hacking your VR stream, have the the potential of creating cases of 21st Century Digital PTSD. And of course the application by the Military, and its expected misuse, will be something my pessimism would not be surprised by. But weaponization is not the only option for our Immersive Digital Experiences
VR can be the empathy machine so many need these days, bypassing preconceptions by having the participant live other lives. How do you judge the poor harshly after walking in their shoes for a week? How do you think women have it easy when feeling the powerlessness and shame so many victims of abuse have suffered? How do feel about racism when you are subjected to a weeks worth of race hate directed at you?
How about the Brass Ring of Empathy?
Any government vote by our representatives on Welfare, on Immigration, on Education, on Health Care, on Reproduction, can only move forward after those directly affected are satisfied that those voting have been though the appropriate Immersive Digital Experience.
Wouldn't we all feel better knowing our elected leaders really know how it feels to be affected by their decision?
Although I’m not sure they would…
It can be Hollywood on steroids, the next generation gaming experience, or something much, much more.