Virtual Life vs Reality
Nowadays, a lot of people are almost completely disconnected from reality, especially teenagers. They have no need to explore and experience the physical world. They are buying whatever they need and communicating with friends on the internet. Many young people spend most of their time on the web. It seems like such people have completely lost interest in the natural things in the physical world and plunged into the virtuality of the technological world. Virtuality has a significant influence on our life. It changed the way we access information, read news, journals, and even the way we communicate and feel physical reality.
Sometimes the virtual world seems more real for some people than our regular reality. Mainly because in the virtual world people have more freedom in their actions and appearance. Usually, they do not have to worry about societal norms, morality, religious prohibitions, etc. Nowadays, more and more people study online. They learn new languages, study their subjects, read online newspapers, virtually explore the world. It is convenient, but people are becoming more and more disconnected from the real world. Besides, there is a lack of physical experiencing. It is much better if virtual life will not prevail over reality.
Generally, Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-simulated environment. VR is a primarily visual experience. It can be displayed on a computer screen, stereoscopic displays, etc. Virtual reality is known for its high level of immersion, veracity and interaction. Modern computer games are called Virtual reality, as they are immersive and verisimilar.
Virtual reality can be successfully used in education. VR makes its contribution to a variety of educational methods and information delivery mechanisms, but what is more important, according to Bell and Fogler (1995, p. 3) it specifically addresses “those areas where traditional methods are weakest”. For Virtual reality, training for real-life practices has always been one of the most important areas of application (Kalawsky 1996, n.p.). It has long been known that students need more activities and interaction than just ordinary lections. With the technological progress a lot of computer-based educational programs, simulators, interactive modules have appeared.
VR has also been used to improve sensory and motor functions among children with Down syndrome (DS). According to Wuang et al. (2011, p. 312)“this quasi-experimental study compared the effect of standard occupational therapy (SOT) and Virtual reality using Wii gaming technology (VRWii) on children with Down syndrome”. Considering this experimental study, it is noticeable that “participants in the VRWii group had a greater pre-post change on motor proficiency, visual-integrative abilities, and sensory integrative functioning” (Wuang et al. 2011, p. 312).
Considering this particular example, it is obvious, how efficient and useful virtual reality can be. But on the other hand, there are too many young people addicted to it, spending most of their time at home in front of computers, playing video games, and even having virtual sex. Some of the addicted ones value virtual life much more than the real one. Some of them cannot imagine their life without their avatar, which is a user’s alter ego virtual representation. They “spend money on outfits” in the virtual world, change avatar’s eye color, make friends or argue with somebody (Newitz 2009). There are people who treat it as entertainment, but there are also some who completely plunge into it.
There is such a game as Second Life . It is a virtual reality game, in which a person can spend his/her time, communicate with other players, visit clubs, build own house, etc. While spending all of their free time online, chatting with strangers, buying or selling virtual items for real money, they usually become more and more disconnected from the real world and real people, even family. People who play this game often seek complete isolation. They even sometimes renounce from social life and refuse to leave their homes for a very long time. Instead, they prefer to live in virtual reality, where they can earn and spend money, find “friends” and “live” as an avatar (Lunn 2008, n.p.).
Such “life” cannot replace the real one. People should experience the real world by themselves, but not with simulated reality. They should spend more time outside, watching kids playing, reading books, walking with our dogs, communicating face-to-face with their friends, but not chatting hours with strangers and anonyms on the web.
Bell, J. T & Fogler, H. S 1995, The Investigation and Application of Virtual reality as an Educational Tool, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Lunn, S 2008, Don’t be a virtual ass, rush out this second and get a life , Web.
Kalawsky, R.S 1996, Exploiting Virtual reality Techniques in Education and Training: Technological Issues , Web.
Newitz, A 2009, Virtual Sex: Cheating or Not?, Web.
Wuang, Y. P, Chiang, C. S, Su C. Y &Wang, C. C 2011, ‘Effectiveness of Virtual reality using Wii gaming technology in children with Down syndrome’, Research in Developmental Disabilities , vol 32, pp. 312-321, n.d., Elsevier Ltd, Web.
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Essay On Virtual Life
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The Big Ideas: What Is Reality?
Our Virtual Lives Are Real Lives
We invest meaning into the physical world — and we can do the same in digital worlds.
By David Chalmers
Mr. Chalmers is a professor of philosophy.
This essay is part of a series called The Big Ideas, in which writers respond to a single question: What is reality? You can read more by visiting The Big Ideas series page .
How should we understand reality in a digital age? The popular acronym “IRL,” short for “in real life,” contrasts real life with digital life. On social media, I post photos of philosophy conferences. In virtual reality, I’m a whiz at playing the rhythm game Beat Saber. But IRL, I’m a professor at New York University who writes books about consciousness and reality.
This acronym from the 1990s now seems old-fashioned. In the 2020s, the assumption that digital life is not real life no longer rings true. When a child is bullied on Instagram, it’s a real occurrence with real consequences. When you hang out with your family over Zoom, it’s a real family gathering. When you lose money from trading Bitcoin , it’s a real loss. Digital life is an integral part of real life today.
To get to the bottom of this, we need to clarify what it means to be real. Philosophically, there are a few different ways we can define the concept of reality.
First definition: Something is real if it makes a difference. The coronavirus is real because it makes people sick. The tooth fairy isn’t real because it doesn’t do anything. Its work is mainly done by parents who tell stories about it and leave money for teeth. In this sense, digital life is real. What happens on the internet impacts our everyday lives. A change in Google’s algorithm can ruin a business . A politician’s tweet has the potential to bring down a government.
Second definition: Something is real if it’s not just in our minds. A mirage is only in our minds, so it’s not real. A tree falling in the forest happens outside our minds, so it’s real. The internet isn’t all in our minds. Websites still exist while we sleep. Blockchains are present on networks of machines around the world and stay there even when no one is viewing them.
Third definition: Something is real if it’s not an illusion, a hallucination or a fiction. In his 1984 novel, “Neuromancer,” the science fiction writer William Gibson said that cyberspace was a “consensual hallucination” experienced by billions of people. These days, I’d argue that cyberspace is a consensual reality. An online store like Amazon is just as real as one of Walmart’s brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon is a full-blooded institution that helps structure our reality.
Fourth definition: Perhaps most important in our digital age, we say something is real if it’s authentic. When something is inauthentic, it’s fake. The physical world is full of inauthenticity, from counterfeit money to fake smiles. Inauthenticity runs even more rampant on the internet, where fake news, phony bots and Instagram filters that idealize our lives abound. Still, there’s plenty of authenticity online. Friendships can be sustained over email. You can genuinely protest government policy on Twitter. You can enjoy real music on Spotify. Our experiences in digital reality can be just as authentic as our experiences in physical reality.
Discussions about what counts as real will become increasingly relevant in the coming metaverse of virtual realities. Today’s virtual worlds, from social worlds like Second Life to game platforms like Roblox, are reflexively contrasted with “the real world.” Many people think that virtual realities are unreal by definition. According to my criteria, this is wrong. Virtual worlds are real worlds.
Second Life has made a difference in users’ lives by fostering new relationships and new communities. Roblox continues to exist on servers when no one is looking. The same applies to immersive virtual realities experienced through a headset. For example, the immersive social environment VRChat is more than an illusion: You seem to be having a conversation with other people inhabiting colorful avatars because you really are. Who’s to say these experiences cannot be as authentic and important as the ones that play out in physical reality?
The 2021 movie “Free Guy” gets this right. Two of the film’s protagonists are nonplayer characters who live in a video game world. Upon discovering this fact, one asks the other: “Does this mean that none of this is real?” The other replies: “I’m sitting here with my best friend, trying to help him through a tough time. If that’s not real, I don’t know what is.” This interaction touches on a fifth way to define what is real: Something is real if it’s meaningful.
As a philosopher, I think the meaning in our lives is grounded in our consciousness. Human beings are conscious, and this gives us the capacity to invest meaning into the physical world. We can do the same with virtual reality. While an artificial city might not bear the same significance as one’s hometown, virtual worlds will build meaning of their own over time — meaning that comes from us.
None of this means that virtual reality will only be wonderful. Just like physical reality, digital worlds are full of loneliness and pain. And suffering in virtual reality is just as real and as meaningful as suffering in physical reality.
In the future, we’ll be spending even more time in online environments. We’ll be working and playing in digital worlds. We’ll interact with friends and family and build new communities in virtual worlds. It matters whether we can have authentic and meaningful experiences there. I think we can.
Because of this, it no longer makes sense to use “IRL” and “the real world” when talking about physical reality. Instead, we can talk about the physical world and contrast it with digital and virtual worlds. All these worlds can be real.
David Chalmers is a professor of philosophy and neural science at New York University and the author, most recently, of “Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy.”
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Speak essay Speak is a story that follows a high school Freshman, named Melinda Sordino, as she goes through the five stages of grief. The reason she goes through the five stages of grief, is because she was raped at the beginning of her 9th grade year at a high school party. She was bullied for calling the cops on the guy who raped her at this party. Even though, the people didn't understand why she called them. Though she was harassed at school, her problems at home were just as bad.…
Parents In The Glass Castle
Parenting has always been an issue since the brick of dawn and recently been recognized as a problem for our society: remarkably people have finally decided to try to do something about it. In the Glass Castle, Rex and Rose Mary Walls went through many struggles raising their children but ultimately the struggles made the children stronger individuals; despite the alcoholism, sickness, and domestic abuse. Jeanette and her siblings have been through many hardships as they grew up, living with their dysfunctional parents. Rex and Rose Mary Walls weren’t always bad parents, if anything, they were the parents every kid would want; caring, supportive, kind, and everything there is to having parents. In the beginning, Jeannette’s family roamed around…
The Secret Life Of Bees Quote Analysis
Ask yourself what has your mother done for you in your life. Lily's mother didn't teach her much while she was alive and causes her much anguish. But the life lessons Lily will learn as an effect of her mother's death will really shape her into who she is today. The abandonment that Lily felt causes her to look for a motherly figure in her life. The abandonment feeling in Lily causes her to feel a lot of anger towards her mother.…
The Secret Life Of Bees Lily Character Analysis
Mother is one of many words that might come to mind when thinking about someone who is loving, selfless, nurturing, and comforting. However, when a mother breathes her last, the lives’ of people she loves change. In the book “The Secret Life of Bees”, the protagonist, Lily Owens, a fourteen-year-old girl, is presently going through this change. Throughout this book, Lily feels alone and hopeless because she has no mother to be there wither her, as Lily was only four years old when her mother, Deborah, passed away. Lily meets new people along her journey of change who care and love her.…
Sue Monk Kidd: A Comparative Analysis
“In 2012, 397,000 children were in foster care, a 30 percent decline from the 1999 peak of 567,000, and a number lower than any seen in the past 25 years. In 2014, the number had increased to 415,000” (“Foster Care” 1). Children in foster care are taken out of their homes because something is wrong with how they were living. These children need a good parent-child relationship. There are many studies on the correlation between parent-child relationships, and the outcome of a child.…
Personal Narrative: My Virtual Childhood Development
Virtual Child has been an incredible learning tool especially when it comes to all the different milestones children achieve throughout their life. The most important childhood developments are their sleeping, health, eating, and motor development. My own virtual child, Delilah, experiences all of these adaptions that a usual child at eighteen months would up to that point. At the age of eighteen months, her sleeping and eating have regulated to the point where she gets regular sleep and enjoys trying new foods. Her health and motor development needed steady work but now has progressed.…
Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life Of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd’s coming of age novel The Secret Life of Bees has many themes, a major one being that women are powerful. There is no lack of female characters, and each is strong in their own way, and as a community they are an incredible force, something the protagonist Lily comes to realize over the course of the story. In the opening of this story, Lily is in a society where women are not highly valued.…
Character Analysis Of Lily Owens In 'Secret Life Of Bees'
The Pursuit of Love People often don’t appreciate family and the love and support it offers. Lily Owens, one of Sue Monk Kidd's characters in the Secret Life of Bees, wishes she had the opportunity to be loved and supported by a family. The author writes a heart tugging tale about Lily’s quest to find herself and the way her life is changed by this adventure. Lily learns confidence and forgiveness as well as taking charge of her future during her journey to Tiburon.…
Jane Elliott's A Class Divided
The experiment “A Class Divided” was performed in order to prove that prejudice and stereotypes can influence a “superior” group’s opinion on an “inferior” group, and in this specific experiment, the discrimination was based on two different eye colors of a group of elementary school students. And sadly, the outcome verified the hypothesis, as the experimenter Jane Elliott witnessed a group of “marvelous, cooperative, wonderful, thoughtful children turned to nasty, vicious, discriminating third-graders.” On the first day of the experiment, Jane Elliott first set up the discrimination between blue-eyed superior and brown-eyed inferior. And by which she meant that the blue-eyed get extra recess, can drink water directly from the water fountain, can have seconds at lunch and can play anytime on the playground equipment; while the brown-eyed must only use a paper cup to drink from the fountain, may not play with blue-eyed children and must stay off the playground equipments.…
Personal Narrative: How My Life Changed Forever
On November 25, 2011 at 11:34 AM, my life changed forever. As I lay on the operating table in a daze, I heard the muffled cries of my tiny newborn son for the first time. From the moment they rose him up over the sheet, I fell in love. I had a handsome little boy. The feelings that I had experienced were greater than I have ever felt before.…
Loneliness In Johnny Kidd
Loneliness is another unpleasant thing existing in this world that Kidd depicts in her novel, and throughout her work, she shows that this kind of awfulness can also be dealt with using positive actions. In the exposition, she makes it apparent that loneliness plays a huge role in the protagonist’s life. When Kidd depicts Lily’s life in the beginning, she informs her audience that Lily’s mother, Deborah, is dead, she has no friends besides her caretaker, Rosaleen, and she is in “misery [from] living with T.Ray (3),” her cruel father. Based on all of these facts, it is clear that Lily is a forlorn child and is feeling empty inside. However, as the story progresses, Kidd illustrates how the positive actions of the calendar sisters help Lily escape…
Personal Narrative Essay: Becoming A Father
Becoming a father was the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life. It is such a special feeling living for someone else and not just yourself, knowing that your sole duties in life are now to love, provide, teach, mentor, and discipline. I always hear people say “ Im don 't think I 'm ready to be a parent.” and to be honest, I do not think anyone is ready to be a parent. I can still remember like it was yesterday the day my son was born.…
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Virtual Worlds Essay
The Anthropology of Virtual Worlds 4 October 2012 Virtual Worlds People have been trying to define the meaning of virtual worlds for years. The definition of a virtual world, as defined by the “Journal of Virtual Worlds”, is a “computer-based simulated environment where users interact with other users through graphic or textual representations of themselves utilizing textual chat, voice, video or other forms of communication.” I agree with this definition of virtual worlds because it sums up the basis of what we discussed in class as to what we believed a virtual world was. A virtual world is an environment where one can portray oneself as one pleases and communicate with others seamlessly freely. Some examples include but are not limited to Second Life, Video Games, and YouTube. Second Life is a virtual world that allows people to interact with one another through avatars in an online community. Depending on how deep an attachment one has with a virtual world such as Second Life, one could become emerged into this “thing” and have it effect ones real life situations. This could consist of one’s health. Virtual behavior may affect one’s health both positively and negatively. Jesse Fox, a graduate student of Stanford, assigned a total of seventy-five avatars to seventy-five volunteers dividing them into three groups. In one group he made the volunteers watch ones virtual counterpart run on a treadmill for about five and a half minutes. In another group the volunteers saw oneself lounge around, and the last group watched avatars of the same sex and age run on treadmills only the avatars did not look like them. Fox found that the volunteers he had view the avatars that looked like them running on a treadmill had worked out an hour more in the following twenty-four hour period, than the other two groups. Of course the second was the group watching the avatars of the same age and sex but different avatars from oneself running on a treadmill. This is interesting because it shows how virtual worlds can affect what one does in real life. If something as simple as watching an avatar run on a computer screen can make one exercise more or less, then who is to say violence in virtual worlds cannot carry on into the real world? Some video games can be very violent. Games such as the Grand Theft Auto series and The Call of Duty series are examples. Grand Theft Auto is a virtual world video game where one steals cars, kills pedestrians as well as police, fight gangs, and numerous of other violent acts. It is a virtual world because you can interact with others during online play. It is only a video game but it has led to real world crimes. In Bangkok, a teen student murdered a taxi driver just “to see if it was as easy as in the game.” The teen was believed to, and admitted to being an avid player of the video game. He stabbed a fifty-four year old driver ten times resulting in the death of the driver. Because of this, the video game was pulled from sale in Bangkok. Video games such as Call of Duty are also violent but in a different way. This video game series uses the military to combat warfare using a first person shooter feature. If the video game Grand Theft Auto can lead people to commit crimes in the real world, then would it not be also logical for one to join the armed forces because of the video game Call of Duty? Although instances of people joining the armed forces because of a virtual world are few, it still happens. Some virtual worlds are so common that some people do not even know that they are participating in it. An example of which is YouTube. Upon questioning students about the use of YouTube as a virtual world, many did not understand ones participation in it. YouTube is a virtual world because you interact with others online through videos. Rather it be replying to the video in a written text comment, or a reply using a video comment, one is still interacting with another person Show More
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