Virtual Reality

Joe Blige

Virtual reality as of recent, while still extremely new, has become the
topic of many opposing viewpoints. It has caught the eye of the general public
for several reasons. Perhaps, this is mainly because of all the possibilities
which virtual reality creates. Note that the possibilities are not pre-
determined as either good or bad, mainly because there are many different
opinions to the future of this developing technology. However, despite the
controversy this new technology has aroused, society should not remain skeptical.
Virtual reality has the potential, if used correctly, to become a great
technological advancement that will aid society in many ways.
In the past, virtual reality has been nothing more than a small step beyond
video games. However, it is now apparent that this technology can be used for
more practical purposes. These purposes include national defense, surgical
procedures and various other applications. Society has not fully acknowledged
the benefits of virtual reality as of yet because it is still under development.
The reason for virtual reality remaining in its development for so long is
mainly due to its complexity. The hardware that has developed so far is unable
to make the large calculations required by a virtual reality based machine.
However, as apparent in recent years, technology is advancing at an extreme rate.
This is another reason why society\'s hopes for virtual reality should and have
remained unwaivered.
In Orenstein\'s story, she gives the perspective of the average citizen who
is obviously uncertain about the uses and/or affects that virtual reality will
have upon society. The show she attended was quick to point out the
practicality of virtual reality however, it still left much to be desired. It
seems that Orenstein was disgruntled when she came to an exhibit and the topic
of cyber-sex was raised. Perhaps it wasn\'t just that it came up but more like
how it came up. The idea of a man and woman being in a virtual world and a man
fondling the womans breasts was probably, although very much possible, not a
great first impression. It gave Orenstein the opportunity to explore the evils
that virtual reality makes possible.
After a while, Orenstein realizes that just like the computing age has
hackers, the virtual age will have it\'s own high-tech delinquents.

You can\'t prevent technology from being abused. There will be those who
use VR rudely, stupidly, dangerously--just as they do the telephone or
computer. Like the telephone and the modem, its popular rise will also
eliminate the need for certain fundamental kinds of human contact, even
as it enhances our ability to communicate. (Orenstein 258)

Here she is quick to point out that because virtual reality is such a new
technology it is extremely possible for hackers to have their way with it.
Perhaps she also points out that in order for society to accept this new
technology they will have to accept it\'s risks as well.
In the government\'s perspective use of virtual reality it is easy to see
how this technology proves useful. Supposing that the United States got into a
war, by using virtual reality pilots instead of real pilots the number of
casualties would obviously be less. Pilots would fly their aircraft from a
remote location via video and audio equipment in the form of virtual reality.
As technology increases over the next several years it will become easier and
easier for the pilots to fly planes from a remote location.
However, despite all the lives this may save there is a down side. The
down side being that perhaps this will stimulate the government to react more
easily in a violent way. Without any loss of lives the only thing the government
has to lose by attacking are the cost of planes. Keeping this idea in mind, it
is very likely that the US will spend less time negotiating and more time
fighting. This is most definitely a negative side-affect of virtual reality
because it will weaken the relationship that the US has with other countries.
Integrating virtual reality with society is where the majority of problems
occur. It is clearly apparent that because this technology is so new society is
unsure how it will fit in. This is also a good example of why people\'s opinions
are so varied. Some people see virtual reality as just another tool which will
aid society in several ways. Others see it as dominating society all together
and affecting everyone\'s lives everyday. It obviously has the potential to be
both