"Virtual reality is able to effectively blur the line between reality and illusion, pushing the limits of our imagination and granting us access to any experience imaginable. With well-crafted simulations, these experiences, which are so immersive that the brain believes they’re real, are already widely available with a VR headset and will only become more accessible and commonplace. But how does this new medium affect its users, and does it have a future beyond fantasy and escapism? In Experience on Demand, Jeremy Bailenson draws on two decades spent researching the psychological effects of VR and other mass media to help readers understand this powerful new tool. He offers expert guidelines for interacting with VR and describes the profound ways this technology can be put to use--not to distance ourselves from reality, but to enrich our lives and influence us to treat others, the environment, and even ourselves better. In the world of VR, a football quarterback plays a game against a competing team hundreds of times before even stepping onto the field; members of the United Nations embody a young girl in a refugee camp going through her day-to-day life; and veterans once again walk through the streets where they had experienced trauma. There are dangers and many unknowns in using VR, but it also can help us hone our performance, recover from trauma, improve our learning and communication abilities, and enhance our empathic and imaginative capacities. Like any new technology, its most incredible uses might be waiting just around the corner. Experience on Demand is the definitive look at the risks and potential of VR--a must-read for navigating both the virtual and the physical worlds ahead."--Dust jacket.
"Through a mesmerizing look back over his life in technology, Jaron Lanier, the scientist who is said to have either coined or popularized the term virtual reality, exposes VR’s ability to illuminate and amplify our understanding of our species and gives readers a new perspective on how the brain and body connect to the world. An inventive blend of autobiography, science writing, philosophy, and advice, Dawn of the New Everything tells the wild story of Lanier’s personal and professional life as a scientist. Raised in the UFO territory of New Mexico, Jaron lived with his father in a geodesic dome they built together in the desert after the sudden death of his mother. Attending college at age fourteen, Lanier was immediately hooked on computers, and from then on his life became entwined with technology. He forged an unconventional career path that eventually led him to the early frontier days of Silicon \/alley, where he founded the first VR start-up. An intense and imaginative dreamer, he retained a fierce humanism that continues to guide his innovative work and thought. Understanding virtual reality as being both a scientific and cultural adventure, Lanier demonstrates it to be, in fact, one of the most humanistic settings for technology. In this illuminating book, he cautions against certain computational beliefs such as AI, even as he explains the dazzling possibilities of \/R and argues that it can make our lives richer and fuller."--Front jacket flap.
"Twenty million people worldwide play Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs). Online role-playing gaming is no longer an activity of a tiny niche community. World of Warcraft--the most popular game within the genre--is more than a decade old. As technology has advanced and MMORPGs became exponentially more popular, gaming culture has evolved dramatically over the last 20 years. ... [This book] presents a compelling insider’s examination of how adventuring through virtual worlds has transformed the meaning of play for millions of gamers. The book provides a historical review of earlier incarnations of virtual world games and culture in the late 1990s, covering the early years of popular games like EverQuest, to the soaring popularity of World of Warcraft, to the current era of the genre and its more general gaming climate. Author Zek Valkyrie--a researcher in the areas of gaming culture, digital communities, gender, sexualities, and visual sociology as well as an avid gamer himself--explores the evolution of the meaning of ’play’ in the virtual game world, explains how changes in game design have reduced opportunities for social experimentation, and identifies how player types such as the gender switcher, the cybersexual, the explorer, and the trial-and-error player have been left behind in the interest of social and informational transparency"-- Dust jacket.
Janet Murray’s Hamlet on the Holodeck was instantly influential and controversial when it was first published in 1997. Ahead of its time, it accurately predicted the rise of new genres of storytelling from the convergence of traditional media forms and computing. Taking the long view of artistic innovation over decades and even centuries, it remains forward-looking in its description of the development of new artistic traditions of practice, the growth of participatory audiences, and the realization of still-emerging technologies as consumer products. This updated edition of a book the New Yorker calls a "cult classic" offers a new introduction by Murray and chapter-by-chapter commentary relating Murray’s predictions and enduring design insights to the most significant storytelling innovations of the past twenty years, from long-form television to artificial intelligence to virtual reality. Murray identifies the powerful new set of expressive affordances that computing offers for the ancient human activity of storytelling and considers what would be necessary for interactive narrative to become a mature and compelling art form. Since Hamlet on the Holodeck’s original publication, a practice that was largely speculative has been validated by academia, artistic practice, and the marketplace. In this substantially updated edition, Murray provides fresh examples of expressive digital storytelling and identifies new directions for narrative innovation. -- Back cover.
"The author explores concepts central to the design and enjoyment of video games, including affect, immersion, liveness, presence, agency, narrative, ideology and the player’s virtual surrogate--the avatar. Gamer and avatar are analyzed as a cybernetic coupling whose dynamics suggest a fulfillment of dramatist Atonin Artaud’s vision of the "body without organs.""-- Provided by publisher
"Useful to school librarians, teachers, and faculty, this book explains the range of possibilities for creating immersive learning experiences through the use of virtual worlds, virtual simulations, virtual collections, exhibits by libraries and museums, and archives. Explains how using virtual worlds in teaching and outreach can better motivate, engage, and reach more students with diverse learning styles than traditional text-based methods. Updated with information on the latest technology and newest library applications. Enables readers to make more informed decisions about which latest virtual reality platforms to use"-- Provided by publisher.
Is a simulated world a better world? Virtual reality is more than just entertainment / Virtual Reality Society ; Schools struggle with virtual reality / Benjamin Herold ; Virtual reality is transforming healthcare / Bertalan Mesko ; VR helps create better soldiers and commanders / David Kushner ; Virtual reality can revolutionize higher education / David Matthews -- How real is real? Virtual reality is moving in positive directions / Maria Konnikova ; Virtual reality is not ready for widespread use / Mark Ceb ; Experiencing history is better than learning it / Luke O'Neil ; Virtual reality helps users develop empathy / Ben Kuchera ; Market research will benefit from virtual reality / Raymond Burke ; To become mainstream technology, virtual reality must overcome challenges / Stuart Dredge -- What impact will virtual reality have on human behavior? Virtual reality has therapeutic applications / Bobbie Ticknor ; Virtual reality effectively engages the emotions / Julia Diemer, Georg W. Alpers, Henrik M. Peperkorn, Yousef Shiban, and Andreas Muhlberger ; Despite challenges, VR offers opportunities for psychology research / Christopher J. Wilson and Alessandra Soranzo ; VR violent video games could be dangerous / Thomas McMullan ; In the classroom, virtual reality is better than real world / Mathew Georghiou -- Will virtual reality lead to a decline in society? VR developers must adhere to a code of ethics / Daniel Oberhaus ; Research should focus on minimizing negative effects of VR / Mark E. Koltko-Rivera ; Church-goers can find meaning and community in virtual reality / Giulio Prisco ; Virtual reality may not be safe / Vikram Kinkar ; Virtual reality can save the planet / Ivy Shih.