Going for a walk in the Taj Mahal

I have been having so much fun hanging out in my virtualized lab space, that I’m thinking of moving much of my research there. It wouldn’t be a physical move so much as a perceptual one.

After all, I will still be in the lab. Anybody who wants to join me can simply put on a VR headset, grab a pair of controllers, and join in the fun.

In this alternate version of our lab, we will all have super powers. We can create objects simply by waving our hands, change the appearance of the world around us at will, draw animations in the air. Or maybe, just for fun. going for a walk in the Taj Mahal.

Of course we will know that we are not the real world, but that shouldn’t be a problem. When you read a book or see a movie, you also know that what you are experiencing is not actually the real world.

Any sort of virtual experience, be it a book, a play, a film or a computer game, is both less and more than reality. Broadly speaking, these are all forms of literature, tools for sharing and exploring alternate worlds of our imagination.

I wonder what will happen as we get progressively better at blending the serious purpose of collaborative work with the tools of shared immersive experience. Will our collective understanding of reality change as well?

I guess we will find out.

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