The Virtual Reality World

I have seen the movie Avatar in 3-d twice now. I loved it. It is somewhat cheesy, but so real human beings are, so it makes it more realistic to me. I notice upon leaving the theater that the world looks amazingly brown, lifeless and dull. Each time was sort of a shock to escape such an immersion into a colorful exhilarating world into the bleak haze of traffic lights and peacocking teens wandering aimlessly and cluelessly through the streets and through time.

It never made me depressed though. The movie has made me excited for the future of technology and what seems obvious to me as the coming virtual reality world. The transition will be slow but seamless. It started with story telling around campfires, theater, then the printing press, books, newspapers, magazines and libraries. The computer brought video games and digital animations. The internet was a huge leap. In a tiny splash of time since its invention we now have tiny portable internets, digital readers in our pockets,  access to world knowledge, access to view and create our own public video content with our own computers. We have high quality video cameras in our pockets which can be publicly uploaded in minutes. Within months of Avatar’s release the 3-d T.V. will be made available. There won’t be a point where we can say “this year humanity began to live mostly outside of the sensory perceptions of the earth environment”. It will happen seamlessly. It already is transitioning. Everywhere you go people are not listening to anything but their earbuds picking up satellite feeds. At some point the VR will include kinesthetic and visual and neurologic synchs and there will be little need to actually “go” places. Humanity cannot run fast enough towards creating a heaven on earth through technology, and the response to Avatar illustrates my point.

“On the fan forum site “Avatar Forums,” a topic thread entitled “Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible,” has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope. The topic became so popular last month that forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian had to create a second thread so people could continue to post their confused feelings about the movie.

“…The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don’t have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed.”

A user named Mike wrote on the fan Web site “Naviblue” that he contemplated suicide after seeing the movie.”Ever since I went to see ‘Avatar’ I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na’vi made me want to be one of them. I can’t stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it,” Mike posted. “I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in ‘Avatar.’ “

“Other fans have expressed feelings of disgust with the human race and disengagement with reality.”

“When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed … gray. It was like my whole life, everything I’ve done and worked for, lost its meaning,” Hill wrote on the forum. “It just seems so … meaningless. I still don’t really see any reason to keep … doing things at all. I live in a dying world.” “

It is dying, but it is also being newly created from scratch.

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