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doing virtual reality

“Someone told me that cyberspace was ‘everting.’ That was how she put it.”
“Sure. And once it everts, then there isn’t any cyberspace, is there? There never was, if you want to look at it that way. It was a way we had of looking where we were headed, a direction.”

We’re all doing VR every time we look at a screen. We have been for decades now. We just do it. We didn’t need the goggles, the gloves. It just happened. VR was an even more specific way we had of telling us where we were going. Without scaring us too much, right?” (William Gibson, Spook Country)

I suspect for much longer than decades, actually – and I don’t think it is just screens… I’m pretty sure we’re also “doing VR” every time we read a novel… Actually, we’ve probably been doing it as long as we’ve been telling each other stories…

In fact:
Want to Explore Virtual Reality? Try Reading a Book (from Kendra’s Psychology Blog)

In a recent edition of NPR’s All Things Considered, psychologist Jeff Zacks (…) discussed his new study exploring what happens in the brain when we read a book. In the study to be published in the journal Psychological Science, Zacks and lead researcher Nicole Speer utilized brain-imaging to look at what happens inside the brains of participants while they read. What they discovered is that as people read, the creation of vivid mental representations activated the same areas of the brain that process similar real life experiences.

In other words, you are constructing a virtual reality of your own inside of your head every time you read.

According to Zacks, “We’re used to thinking that virtual reality is something that involves fancy computers, helmets and gadgets, but what these kind of data suggest is that language itself is a powerful form of virtual reality. That there’s an important sense in which when we tell each other stories that we can control the perceptual processes that are happening in each others brains.

The results indicated that specific actions in the story, such as performing a motor action, activated the relevant area of the brain associated with performing that action in real life.

from here

I love the idea of sharing New York City with people who are playing an Area/code virtual game as a result of which the city takes on new drama and urgency that completely involves them but remains invisible to me.

from here

In the book The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality, Michael Heim identifies seven different concepts of Virtual Reality: simulation, interaction, artificiality, immersion, telepresence, full-body immersion, and network communication.

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