Friday, March 19, 2010

Blog 6: Toward a Virtual Reality

In experiencing the Cave, two questions came to mind that I want to reflect on a bit more:

1.) If the panopticon is the architectural symbol of discipline, might VR eventually function the same way for control? I think that in VR's current state (as exemplified by the Cave), the answer is clearly No. In the world envisioned in Snow Crash (the Black Sun), which I could catch a glimpse of in my Cave visit, I would answer Yes (even though this brings up interesting questions about what is meant by 'architectural'). In the coming week, I'll try to formulate why I believe this to be the case.

2.) On a related note, I've been trying to critically compare the VR I experienced at the Cave versus the VR envisioned in Snow Crash in order to more fully understand how the VR in Snow Crash operates. For me, one of the important distinguishing elements is the role of social interactions within VR. It is these social interactions in many ways that produce a desire to gain access to the Black Sun and to create detailed virtual personas. In this way, the VR in Snow Crash is an interesting bridging of the world of Second Life with the world of the Cave.

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