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Social Concerns on Virtual Reality

There are some that believe that virtual reality is a serious social concern.

VR is a major scientific breakthrough by people who believe it will do good for mankind. But does it have the potential to do tremendous harm. Just as nuclear fusion was deemed applicable in positive contributions, it have gained fame more for its weaponry capability.

Rather than prevent the ongoing development of virtual reality, should be taking steps to control its use.

In todays VR scenarios, the graphical representation is sufficiently unreal to ensure the user does not mistake it for the real thing. But as the processing capabilities improve, users will have problems distinguishing reality from virtuality.

  • People may prefer virtuality to reality – creating all kinds of psychological problems
  • VR pornography will have an impact, giving psychopaths and perverts environments to carry out their sick fantasies. After being hyped up by these VR experiences they may be more prone to replicating them in the real world.
    Visual perceptions may be distorted after extended periods in a VR environment, making driving a car immediately afterwards, dangerous.
  • Virtual reality provides an environment for people to participate in socially unacceptable behaviour, without control.
  • Spending large amounts of time in virtual reality risks losing ones essence of humanity. It potentially can dislodge one from the real natural world ecosystem and transform individuals into pleasure consuming appendages to computers.

It is not the individual use of virtual reality that concerns many sceptics. Rather, their concern is the use of virtual reality by large corporations such as Microsoft that have invasive relationships to every computer in every household, and how they may use VR to influence society as a whole.

Their concern is that regulations be drafted and enforced now to prevent certain elements of virtual reality from being widely distributed, and to control certain aspects of virtual reality scenarios.

Like much technology, it is important to recognize that there is a clear division between the technical capability, and its ability to advance access to human intelligence, and social responsibility surrounding how technology is used.

As a human interface to vast arrays of knownlege data, virtual reality is to Microsoft Windows, as Windows was to DOS Shell. However, in a 2D environment, the user brain can clearly define the reality of the environment within which they are operating. As VR gets more and more real in its 3D immersive capability, it may be difficult for the brain to discern reality from virtuality. It is in this domain, that virtual reality developers and businesses need to be socially responsible.

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