BY MORGAN VACCA
Virtual reality has been dubbed the future of modern technology. It can take people anywhere they want, giving them a digital escape from the pressures of society. Predictions show that over 500 million VR headsets will be sold by 2025, and 171 million people will be using VR software and hardware by 2018. This new device is gaining so much steam, that big corporations are even trying to include it in their marketing.
While it may seem like virtual reality is the best thing since sliced bread, it’s not as great as we think it is. Call me old school, but I hate the idea of strapping a digital blindfold to my face. The technological world has many high points, but creating an alternate reality is taking a step too far.
In terms of psychological health, virtual reality isn’t just taking one step too far. It’s jumping off a cliff. There’s a reason why VR manuals recommend taking breaks frequently. For starters, there’s the VR-induced nausea that plagues users after they take their headsets off. There’s also neurological consequences that result in “simulator sickness” and “virtual reality sickness.” Just imagine how people would act if they were constantly under the psychological influence of virtual reality. The thought of living in a world where everyone’s going gonzo-beans off of technology is just not appealing.
The physical danger of this new technology is pretty simple: you can’t see a darn thing. It’s impossible to safely navigate the real world if you’re seeing a different one. The headsets block your whole line of vision, making you extremely vulnerable to tripping or hurting yourself. The bottom line is that our current, non-nausea inducing, non-neurological affecting, non-vision blocking reality is the one and only reality we need.
Remember that guy Napoleon Bonaparte? At the beginning of the 17th century, he had it all. He thought he could conquer all of Europe, and at some points, seemed like he had the power to. However, on October 19, 1812, Napoleon took a step too far. He and his monstrous team of invaders had been successfully conquering Russia, but upon arrival in Moscow, things changed. The once invincible force, now starving and cold, had to retreat. They overstepped the boundaries of their success.
The story of Bonaparte’s failure is extremely similar to what’s happening to our society and technology. We’re a team of fearless invaders, conquering digital possibilities one by one. However, as we succeed and discover, we’re definitely approaching our Moscow. So many people jump to the conclusion that VR is great for the modern world, but in reality, it’s bigger than we can understand or handle. One reality is all we need. One reality is plenty.