Thie below little snippet of writing was written on the way to San Diego from Phoenix. It reflects my excitement and outright terror of fully embracing the possible final result of this technology. Most of these comments come from thinking about the evolution of art froms and forms of entertainment in the last 100 years. Music being a powerful emotional tool to transmit meaning almost infectously between people and it creates an experience for the listener. It starts from this simple thought and goes from there:
Music represents an attempt to convey meaning just like any other art form. What exactly is the source of the meaning that they are attempting to convey? Thoughts and ideas, as complex as they are, aren't easy to transmit in full.clarity.
Television is another attempted conveyance of thoughts, of meaning. This is a one sided (mostly) visual construct that seems to fall short with me. Perhaps the fact that television has been so heavily conquered and the corporate emptiness made king.
Video games are an awakening, they are the bi-directional interaction and that is the most valuable thing that has come from entertainment in the last few decades.
What is the next step to this? How is immersion created? What is the next level of creating immersion and completeness of experience?
Virtual reality has long since been the masturbatory fantasy of nerds and cyberpunks alike. It is the next novel step to dominate reality, by creating our own realities. The next few decades will be spent perfecting these realities. Someday kids will grow up in virtual worlds more amazing and real than real life.
VR represents the collision of experience and transmission of thought unparalleled in Human history. Short term it represents the emergence of a new art form, a new way to experience reality, a new way to learn, a new way to stay in touch, and possible ideas that I cannot even conceive as I fly down this highway on my 30th birthday.
I imagine the best examples of virtual reality being self adaptive VR simulations that create narrative based on the person's actions. Or games that allow game mechanics to be created 'on the fly'. These are the true magic that will help things like this see widespread adoption.
Being able to stop thinking about getting a bigger monitor and just doing everything inside a HMD seems silly now...
Will music be enough? Will a simple video on a monitor ever be enough? Why simply watch something when you can EXPERIENCE something? Become a different person for an extended flight? Experience a different reality! Distractions or are they real? What IS "real" at that point?
The further exploration and critical analysis of everyone's perception of 'what is real' will only create a positive benefit in society.
Update Aug 9th: I plan to elaborate further in an on-going series regarding virtual reality. I actually get my Oculus Rift next month.