The Perils of Being Elsewhere: Occulus Rift and the Return of Virtual Reality

By Michael Thomsen

Despite advancements in the field, does virtual reality ultimately make us too vulnerable?

The first virtual reality machine was an intimidating machine, discomfortingly named the Sword of Damocles because its metal housing was so heavy it had to be suspended from the ceiling, hovering over its soft-bellied user like an accident waiting to happen. In many ways the aim of virtual reality is the opposite of the workaday laptops, tablets, and smart phones, which perform mundane tasks at dramatic speeds. Virtual reality seeks to add complication to our lives, filling our interactions with atmospheric minutiae that, rather than enhancing productivity, ensnares it in a digital veil of persistent vision, unaware of the vulnerability such states produce.

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