Two sides of the same coin
Augmented reality experiences
It seems as though technology is shifting in a way that allows individuals access to ‘other’ experiences of reality. The realm of reality as we know it is expanding as technology allows us to attain multiple identities and interact in entirely fictive worlds.
The virtual reality experience today was really enlightening and overwhelming. The experience of being immersed in a world that is external to your own is a strange feeling, almost an ‘out of earth’ experience. But, it was super fun and engaging. We sat down in chairs which were in their own areas or boxes (to avoid hitting other people when playing the game). We were instructed to wear these ski mask-like head pieces over our eyes and head, with our hands holding devices that mimicked the human hand. You could view the application screen (on the laptop) through the goggles and choose from a variety of applications. The applications were interesting and varied from flying around the world to painting and creating art in your own canvas space. I even played a game called ‘bullet train’ where you had to shoot bad guys. One aspect that was really frustrating was learning how to use the controls, I still didn’t quite grasp it by the end. There needs to be more instruction on how to escape certain games and how to move around in the game, when you yourself are stationary.
It’s an experience that makes me want to do it again, but that also scares and intimidates me. The idea that you can lose track of time so quickly and forget the importance of your real world is confronting. I’m not sure, although it is fun, that playing shooting games is a beneficial thing – I feel like it creates risk and it could potentially prompt individuals (more men than women) to engage in action and perhaps violence.
The experience prompts important questions, like:
- Have we, as a society, reduced social interaction and development? Does interacting online in a virtual reality count as socialisation and social development?
- What kinds of psychological, mental and behavioural consequences will arise from the younger generations growing up in a digital culture?
- How safe is augmented/virtual reality? Was Pokémon go ‘safe’? The main issue that arose from Pokémon Go was ‘how do we stop individuals from accessing other people’s houses, backyards, private properties to earn rewards in virtual reality?’
- Where do we draw the line? A