Saturday, 15 May 2010

Allaying my fears

I've posted before about the kinds of possible future technologies that I am afraid of. One of these was that we would develop virtual reality so responsive to our needs that no-one wants to live in the real world, resulting in the fall of civilisation.

This depressing prediction is the result of extrapolating existing trends: games are getting more addictive; people are dying at their screens playing MMORPGs (or leaving their children to die. But future prediction that relies on extrapolation is rarely accurate.

So what will happen instead? I suspect that we will develop virtual reality that is optimised to refresh us and then eject us back out into the real world. It won't leave you wanting more, but will inspire you to tackle real-world challenges. It'll still be fun, but it will sell better than addictive games because it will actually make your life better. Has the development of this kind of virtual reality started?

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