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Negative Influence of Virtual Reality

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By azizakhay
Words 3049
Pages 13
Outline I. Introduction
Thesis statement: … However there is a risk that the emergence and development of Virtual Reality leads to the loss of the ‘real reality’ in the future. II. Body A. Virtual Reality (VR) is an artificial three-dimensional environment created by computer technology and presented to the user in such a way that he/she almost accepts it as a real environment (Rajvanshi, 2005). 1. The way VR works a. Virtual reality immersion b. Virtual reality gear 2. Immersion and interactivity a. Requirements of a successful VR experience B. Human beings are endowed from their nature with a rich imagination. 1. Refuge from real life problems a. Imagination utopia b. VR utopia 2. Illusion of comfort created by VR C. Communication between people has been technologically modernized and in the future this tendency will probably continue. 1. Technologically modernized way of communication a. Telephone, internet today b. VR in future 2. Negative impact of technology a. Psychological, physical damages b. ‘Second Life’ influence c. Degradation of students D. Virtual Reality will cause a number of significant changes in people’s life and activity. (Cline, 2005) 1. Influence of technologies on behavior and interpersonal communication 2. Communication between people 3. Migration to virtual space 4. Degradation of mankind III. Conclusion
In conclusion it can be said that the development and integration of such new technologies as Virtual Reality into everyday life are definitely followed by a number of significant changes in humanity’s existence. These changes will have a rather negative effect on people’s further existence, if no changes are implemented.

The negative influence of Virtual Reality on the Humanity’s future

One of the most attracting and exciting new technologies today is Virtual Reality, which is still developing and evaluating. According to Eric Drexler (year) ‘Virtual Reality is a combination of computer and interface devices (goggles, gloves, etc.) that present a user the illusion of being in a three dimensional world of computer generated objects.’ The fact that technology is progressing and reaching, at first sight, unachievable peaks is undoubtedly a significant plus in the history of evolution of humanity. However, there is a risk that the emergence and development of Virtual Reality leads to the loss of the ‘real reality’ in the very coming future.

Virtual Reality (VR) is an artificial three-dimensional environment created by computer technology and presented to the user in such a way that he/she almost accepts it as a real environment (Rajvanshi, 2005). The user is allowed to manipulate and explore this simulated reality while feeling as if he/she were inside and a part of that world, which is called immersion (the feeling of being inside of the artificial world and at the same time being able to interact with the environment in different ways). This is done through multisensory input/output devices such as head-mounted display or glasses and stereo earphones which together display three-dimensional images and sounds, data gloves which track movements and walker for feet movements. Then the Virtual Reality is mainly experienced through three senses: sight, sound and touch. The combination of immersion senses and interactivity with virtual world is called telepresence. Computer scientist Steuer (1992) defined it as ‘the extent to which one feels present in the mediated environment, rather than in the immediate physical environment.’ This means that a successful VR experience requires the user to become almost unaware of the real environment and concentrate on his existence inside the virtual world.

Human beings are endowed from their nature with a rich imagination. At all times people have been trying to find a refuge in their imaginary world, which helped them to get away from the real life, mainly from stresses, problems and to relax in their own ‘virtual world’. Through this imagination people create fictions, which lead them away from actual life for an indefinite period of time. In this, so called, ‘utopia’ of their own dreams, people temporary keep away from problems of reality. Virtual Reality technology also does create a utopia to explore, however, in contrast to imagination the other world is not invented in mind, but is truly there. June Deery, professor of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy says ‘whereas in fiction we imagine and empathize, in cyberspace we are supposed to ‘actually’ step into the other world.’ It seems the integration and spreading of Virtual Reality realizes reveries and at first glance gives the impression that this is leading to a number of advantages, such as comforts and eases. It would be a lie to deny this fact. However at the same time the rapid progress of technology may lead to the fact that man will transform the world into a place where he/she will suffer because of his/her own inventions.

Up to our days communication between people has already been technologically modernized and in the future this tendency will probably continue. As Rheingold (1991) noticed: ‘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.’ Today people in different parts of the world are able to carry on a conversation by telephone or internet. In the future, due to more sophisticated information technologies (IT) such as Virtual Reality, people may become even more dependent on machinery. With the help of Virtual Reality applications, people who are separated by long distances will be able to appear in the same place and ‘meet together’. Such communications would enable maintaining close relationships without walking out. Besides this, many other human actions will be technologized. Once again it seems to have mainly positive influence to the future life. However these technologies will have a significant negative impact on human being’s psychology and health. Virtual Reality can lead to physical, emotional and social damages for its user or even addiction comparable with drugs. For example there are games, such as ‘Second Life’ (a virtual imaginary world similar to the real world) that may lead to the user’s strong addiction to it and there is a high probability of the user cutting himself/herself off from the real society. ‘The overpowering stimulation and excitement that Virtual Reality produces can lull the imagination and numb sympathetic feelings for pain and suffering’ (Ikeda, 2001). According to teacher Hartjes (2001) a decrease in natural emotion and affection due to students’ constant interaction with inanimate cyber-friends can be observed. Virtual Reality considerably reduces the importance of physical bodies and encourages people to waste their time. It makes people forget about close, real relationships, their relatives, friends concentrating on artificial contact and online cyber-world (Bednar, 2001)

Cline (2005) argues that Virtual Reality will cause a number of significant changes in people’s life and activity. Some humans believe that ultimate happiness can be reached via Virtual Reality. Human behavior and interpersonal communication may be influenced by technologies. Human beings contact with each other through a number of communication signs and cues, namely through gestures, intonations and mimic expressions. People learn to understand these signs upon shared experience, common social environment and similar symbols and activities. Communication is becoming more difficult in different ‘abnormal’ virtual worlds. ‘In virtual reality, the development of different sub-cultures is amplified by the ability to modify the virtual body and universe and to structure activity’ (Cline, 2005). In different virtual environments humans gain different experiences, signs and meanings which keep them away from the real world customs and traditions. Cline (2005) asserts that virtual universe has a substantial impact on people’s communication. It may make alterations in cues used in interpersonal communication and control the transmission of signs that allow the empathy of people with each other. This can cause personal distress, instability and antisocial behavior. In due course there may be a ‘migration to virtual space’ (movement from real life to the artificial one) which will cause important changes in economics, politics, culture and worldview. In this case human life will turn into an illusion of reality which, sooner or later, may lead to the degradation of mankind.

In conclusion it can be said that the development and integration of such new technologies as Virtual Reality into everyday life are definitely followed by a number of significant changes in humanity’s existence. These changes will have a rather negative effect on people’s further existence, if no changes are implemented.

Bibliography
Cline, M.S., (2005). Power, Madness, & Immortality: the Future of Virtual Reality. 1st ed. Seattle: University Village Press.
Daisaku, I., (2001). Soko Education. Santa Monica: Middleway Press. 53.
O'Brien, J.A., (2002). Virtual Reality. In: Introduction to Information Systems: Essentials for the Internetworked E-Business Enterprise. 10th ed. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Holl Publishing Comapany Limited. 376-377.
Rajvanshi, A., (2005).Virtual Reality and Nirvana. [online] Available from:<http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=3247>. [Accessed 18th March 2012]
Steuer, J., (1992). Defining Virtual Reality: Dimensions Determining Telepresence. Journal of Communication. 42(2).

Reflective Writing
During the second semester we have been given a task to produce an argumentative essay on one of the given topics. The first step that I had to take was choosing the topic of my essay. To tell honestly this took rather a long time, as I was interested in totally different spheres such as Law and Information Technology. However my final choice was Virtual Reality.
Virtual Reality seems to be one of the most interesting and timely topic, as year by year technology is developing and reaching unbelievable summits. Despite my huge interest to the topic, I had some difficulties while conducting the research. My mistake was that I started my work a few days before the deadline. So I did not have enough time to carry out a good research. Discovering new information about Virtual Reality was undoubtedly the most fascinating part of the work. That is why even though I faced some problems with time management and got a rather poor feedback, I do not regret about my topic choice.
From the done work I earn great knowledge and experience. Moreover I am sure that in the future I will try to manage my time properly so that I could conduct a deep research and sleep during the nights.

Appendix
Source1

A Common Language
Humans communicate with one another through the transmission cues, such as facial expression, speech, and action.
In addition, objects play an important role in communication.
(Wearing a cross for instance, may be a way to for individuals to communicate about their beliefs.) The ability to understand the meaning of these cues is dependent upon shared (or similar) experiences, symbols, and evaluations (the result of similar cognitive structures, a shared physical environment, similar needs and activities, etc.). The social environment plays a significant role in the development of shared meanings and symbols. This is particularly evident when traveling abroad and in some social situations.
Different cultures often have trouble understanding one another because they (to some extent) do not have shared experiences, symbols, and understandings. Sticking a pair of chop sticks strait down in a bowl of rice, for instance, does not go without notice in Asian cultures. In the West, it is a convenient way to put down a pair of chop sticks. In Asian cultures, it is an invitation to evil spirits or a sign of death. In this way, actions may be interpreted differently in different social and cultural contexts. In a similar manner, it may be pointed out that it is not appropriate to ask a woman to undress.
But for a doctor, during a gynecological exam, it is acceptable behavior. When driving a car in a different country, however, road signs may be non-existant or may be confusing. In a similar manner, social interaction may be frustrating and difficult.
In strange virtual worlds, it may be analogously difficult to nativate and interact within the social environment. This may be observed in some internet based virtual communities. The diversity within some virtual communities makes communication more difficult. In virtual reality, the development of different sub-cultures is amplified by the ability to modify the virtual body and universe, and to structure activity. In other words, humans living in different virtual worlds (with significantly different features) are likely to have different experiences, symbols, and understandings. (For instance, falling down in a virtual world may enable one to teleport to a new location – thus, having an entirely different meaning.) Within a community, these differences impair interpersonal communication and reduce understanding. In a similar manner, these differences reduce the ability of people to empathize with one another.
Summary
Changes in the virtual universe and virtual body are likely to have a considerable impact upon human communication. In particular, virtual reality may modify, enhance, or filter cues used in interpersonal communication (much like previous communication technologies). In other words, virtual environments may regulate the transmission of cues, such as cues which allow humans to empathize with one another (i.e. to influence one another). Nevertheless, over-arousal or underarousal may be problematic, and may result in personal distress, distraction, maladjustment, and antisocial behavior. In addition, virtual environments may hide or display information about a person’s internal states and their activities. Displaying an
“appropriate” amount of information and maintaining proper levels of empathic arousal (whether regulated biologically or in a
INFLUENCING COMMUNICATION
135
virtual environment), however, is instrumental to human wellbeing.
In addition, this chapter emphasizes that humans rely upon shared meanings and symbols (a common language) in order to communicate. Prolonged exposure to alternate worlds, however, may make it more difficult to communicate. The ability to understand the meaning of cues transmitted between individuals is dependant upon shared (or similar) experiences, symbols, and biology. In virtual space, however, it is possible to alter the virtual body and the virtual world, to condition behavior, and to structure activity. As a result, different individuals may have very different understandings of life and
Source2

Source3 http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=3247Virtual Reality and Nirvana | | by Dr. Anil Rajvanshi | | Virtual reality (VR) is a creation of virtual 3D world in which one can feel and sense the world as if it is real. This virtual world can be accessed by donning a headgear. The gear contains the screen, which is attached to a computer with a necessary software so that a virtual sense of 3D world is obtained. The increasing sophistication in this technology allows the sense of touch (by wearing hand sensors like a glove), smell and hearing through the head gear.

VR experience is akin to sitting and watching a film in a 70-mm film theater but with interactive process where one can change the scenes and be a part of the scenery.

The VR process is being used presently by scientists and engineers for designing sophisticated technologies. It is allowing engineers to design machines and engines in real time as if the actual machine is being changed. However like Internet, which was initially developed to aid scientists and technologists but came into mainstream, VR will also come into the mainstream and eventually be used by everybody. The technologies in VR are progressing so rapidly that in a matter of years we will have an almost real life experience of flying, tasting objects, moving them, smelling them and even have a feel of their texture. Maybe pornography will be the first offshoot of this process!

All our experiences and knowledge of the physical world are through our five senses of taste, smell, touch, sight and hearing. Together with this is our sixth sense, the intuition. We enjoy the world or suffer pain through our senses. These sense signals when processed by brain give us a feeling of individuality, self and awareness.

Virtual reality (VR) allows one to get full blast of information to the senses and hence can allow us to enjoy the world and thus satiate our senses at a fraction of the cost in terms of energy and resources. Thus an individual at will can go to a Disney World, can visit some of the finest museums of the world or fly low over the majestic Himalayas or Swiss Alps without moving out of the VR room. Similarly he/she can do window shopping in some of the best shopping malls of the world and even try out some of the items displayed. In short a person can fulfill major portion of his/her desires through VR at almost zero cost and energy. With desires satiated to a certain extent, individuals can hopefully move on to higher things in life. This is the first step towards spirituality and may help in greed reduction also.

Each individual needs to experience the world. With increasing choices available individuals want to cram this experience in a short time. This desire is latent in all humans and has to be satiated. No amount of sermonizing can stop the younger generation from trying to experience it. VR allows a least-cost (energy wise) and non-invasive mechanism to achieve this objective. VR can sometimes be more powerful than the real world since it allows almost anybody to feel and sense the otherwise forbidden world. It is possible that this satiation of desires so easily will result in overindulgence. However as the technologies of VR and experiences of individuals mature they will move on to other higher things.

VR is however not a panacea for the ills of the present day world. It cannot satisfy the real hunger, cure the diseases, and cannot substitute for real human contact. Nevertheless it may allow vast majority of citizens from developing world to enjoy the world in an interactive mode and may help them to move on to higher goals. This will help the world to move towards sustainability.

The first step of an individual towards spirituality and hence sustainability is the fulfillment of his/her basic desires. I believe VR will allow this. Mankind in future might then move easily towards nirvana. | | | | 10-Apr-2005 | | | | |

Source 4

Virtual reality system: A combination of computer and interface devices (goggles, gloves, etc.) that presents a user with the illusion of being in a three dimensional world of computer-generated objects.
Source 5

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...Theories of Communication – MCM 511 VU LESSON 01 COMMUNICATION Defining communication Communication is seen as central to our everyday ideas about what makes life worth living. It is not surprising that academicians have attempted to unravel the secrets of the communication process. In this section of the study we will examine the theorizing and theories of this discipline of communication. To understand communication theory we need to understand the nature of communication. Nature of communication People define terms in different ways, and those differences in definition can have a profound impact on the extent to which we understand each other and the way we move forward with both academic and everyday pursuits. Given the variety of ways in which words are used and understood, we are often ill-served to search for the single, so-called correct definition of a term. In other words, it is better to evaluate definition in terms of their utility rather than in terms of their correctness. So we should not assume that there is always a single right way to define a concept. There is a great deal of variation in the definitions. Some are very abstract and some are extremely specific. Few definitions are cited below. Communication is the process by which an individual (the communicator) transmits stimuli (usually verbal) to modify the behavior of other individuals (the audience). (Hovland Janis and Kelly in 1953) Communication is the process by which we understand others and in......

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