The call of virtual reality

May 10, 2011

The brain cannot tell a virtual experience from a real experience. The act of watching an animation where a body gets kicked in the face and watching the real thing causes near identical patterns of neurons firing in the brain.

We are constantly interacting with the virtual world. Online goods stores such as the giant Amazon thrive from virtual purchases of products. Many people consider their Facebook friends to be of equal importance as friends in real life.
A massive online game called Second Life allows millions of people to alter their identities. Imagine a world where you didn’t have to take care of your hygiene, and nothing bad would happen. A world where you didn’t have to worry about the number of calories you consume, because your virtual body is shaped like that of a supermodel. Imagine a world where you can transcend the very meaning of being human, by giving yourself the abilities to fly and shape shift. Sounds pretty enticing right?

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