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The Future of Virtual Reality Is near

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Both Miyadai’s and Cazdyn’s analyses of the concepts of reality were hefty but fascinating reads. In particular, Cazdyn’s highlighting of reality culture and Miyadai’s comparison and contrasting of fiction and reality called to mind the direction that some of these concepts are headed now. Up until recently, reality has been captured and contained on the medium of film recording and used as a form of entertainment. But indeed, reality and fiction are beginning to have blurred lines that are only finely dividing the two.

While reading about Miyadai’s timeline of post-war transitions of these ideas and Cazdyn’s take on reality culture, I pondered where the technology of virtual reality fits into the transitions that will be made in the future. It would seem that virtual reality merges the two exceptionally, because then that reality is both real and fictional, both trapped in a frame and freed by the real senses of the viewer. I experienced virtual reality for the first time last summer, and even though the graphics were nowhere near realistic, the sensation of being oriented in sight, hearing, and balance to that “other” reality was disorienting, to the point that I was slightly dizzy when removing the headset. I knew that reality wasn’t “real,” but my brain was made to think in part that it was. So, in a sense, that technology creates a world that is both real and fictional, which seems to erase those aforementioned blurred lines completely. There are countless questions and implications that follow that erasure. How much can our fantasies that are impossible in reality can become possible in the “other” reality? But are they real or fictional? Or both? Yet will it matter in the future if it is a type of reality? And so on.

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