virtual reality

Often abbreviated to 'VR'. Also known as 'artificial reality'... 'artificial worlds', 'virtual worlds', 'virtualities'.

A visual form of cyberspace.

"A combination of computer and interface devices (goggles, gloves, etc.) that present a user with the illusion of being in a three dimensional world of computer-generated objects." --K.Eric Drexler.

"3D digital constructions, architectural and informational, which model the dimensional landscapes of micro and macro realities.

"Currently, a bit primitive and cartoon-like when in real-time." --Henry W.Targowski (in Mark/Space , 1994).

"Virtual Reality is the revolutionary technology that immerses you in a computer-generated world of your own making -- a room, a city, an entire solar system, the interior of a human body. With the aid of computer gloves, a Star Wars helmet and some super-sophisticated software, you can now explore the uncharted territory of the human imagination with all your senses intact.

"Used today in architecture, engineering and design, tomorrow in mass-market entertainment, surrogate travel, virtual surgery and cybersex, by the next century 'VR' will have transformed our lives." --Howard Rheingold (in Virtual Reality , 1991).

"A VR is a computer world that tricks the senses or mind. A virtual glove might give you the feel of holding your hand in water or mud or honey. A VR cybersuit might make you feel as if you swam through water or mud or honey. VR grew out of cockpit simulators used to train pilots and may shape the home and office multimedia systems of the future. The idea of advanced VR systems as future substitutes for sex and drugs and classroom training is the stock and trade of modern science fiction or 'cyberpunk' writing." --Bart Kosko (in Fuzzy Thinking , 1993).

"Viewing 3-D graphics on a 2-D screen is like looking into the ocean from a glass-bottom boat. We see through the window into the environment; we experience being on the boat. Looking into a virtual world on a stereographic screen is like snorkelling. We are at the boundary of a three-dimensional environment, seeing into its depths from its edge; we experience being on the surface of the sea. Using a 3-D display with a computerised glove allows us to reach through the surface to touch objects within our grasp, while viewing our activity from outside the environment; our hands dabble in shallow water. Entering the multi-sensory world of VR is like wearing scuba gear and diving deep into the sea. By immersing ourselves in the underwater environment, moving among the reefs, listening to the whale song, picking up shells to examine, and conversing with other divers, we participate fully in the experience of exploring the ocean. We're there." --Meredith Bricken (quoted in Glimpses of Heaven, Visions of Hell by Barrie Sherman and Phil Judkins, UK pbk, 1993).

"The whole thing with Virtual Reality is that you're breeding reality with other people. You're making shared cooperative dreams all the time.... Eventually, you make your imagination external and it blends with other people's. Then you make the world together as a form of communication." --Jaron Lanier (in "Scratching Your Eyes Back In: John Perry Barlow Interviews Jaron Lanier", Mondo 2000, Issue 2, 1990).

"Artificially stimulated perception." --Marjan Kindersley.

"Virtual Reality won't merely replace TV. It will eat it alive". --Arthur C.Clarke.

"This will represent the greatest event in human evolution. For the first time, mankind will be able to deny reality and substitute its own preferred version." --J.G.Ballard.

"Maybe Virtual Reality is just another expression of what may be the third oldest human urge, the desire to have visions. Maybe we want to get high." --John Perry Barlow.

"The potential of this medium is truly awesome. Although we are just at the model T stage, the Lamborginni version is already on the drawing boards. Forget the hype, tomorrow virtually is another world." --Henry W.Targowski (in Mark/Space , 1994).

Glossary Index
Virtual Reality Index

Virtual Reality
-- Other Definitions --

Glossary Index
Virtual Reality Index

Virtual Reality
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Virtual Reality
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Virtual Reality Index

Of Related Interest

  • Artificial Intelligence / Artificial Life / Robotics
  • Communication & Media
  • CyberCulture
  • Cyberpunk
  • Future
  • Nanotechnology / Molecular Engineering
  • Postmodern
  • Psychedelics / Altered States
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