Last week we looked at the world of virtual reality. This week we take a closer look at the way that this could effect people in real life and in the world of The Tribe.
Many people want to escape reality. Some have led hard lives whilst others just have dreams of faraway places that help get them through the day.
Most people daydream or have vivid dreams at night that are influenced by the thoughts that we carry around in our brains.
Some people retreat into the world of the book that they are reading or a movie that they watch over and over again.
Others watch a favourite TV programme and wish that they could be one of the characters.
Some people get involved in music and writing and escape from reality that way.
And others play computer games or surf the net, pretending to be somebody that they are not, finding comfort in the anonymity that comes with putting your personality (real or imagined) through a keyboard and onto a screen.
Ram and the Techno’s have brought the world of Citynet to the world of The Tribe and this is a world that many people have dreamt about in real life.
Each and every day technical wizards are coming up with ways to make games imitate life. There has long been talk of living in a virtual world and it seems that Ram has brought that to fruition.
Why do people want to escape the real world?
As we have already discussed, a lot of people have very good reason to want to escape the real world and do so every day in their own minds.
In reality, who among us would actually want to turn their backs on the possibility of visiting different places and being able to experience different things?
What is wrong with that?
First of all there is a moral reason. Isn’t it best to deal with real life face to face without running away from it? After all, isn’t it these lessons in life that make us stronger people in the long run? If we were to be able to escape, really escape through VR would that mean that we would always instantly run away from our problems without tackling them?
We are already so used to instant gratification. People have mobile phones so that they can instantly phone or text their friends and families. They have computers, laptops that they can carry around with them so that they can instantly world wherever they are.
E-mail and message services so that people can instantly get in touch with others. Nobody wants to wait any more. Everyone has grown impatient with life. And surely VR would make that worse? An instant retreat from the real world and all the problems it can bring.
There are a lot of issues that come up when we talk about VR. Who should be allowed to use it? Would it become as accessible as the e-mail and Internet?
Would inmates be able to check out the VR screens in prison and escape their existence by visiting the beach or their own homes whilst locked behind bars? Would that be right?
Would inner city schoolchildren be able to check out the countryside through their VR screens?
Would students and historians be able to pay a visit to ancient Egypt or to the Amazon forests?
Would people who had lost loved ones be able to reunite with them in the VR world?
Ram does enjoy his trips into Citynet but sometimes it seems to take a toll on his health. He is always scared that he will catch germs.
This might be because he is eccentric and slightly mad or it could be because he spends so much time indoors and has not built up a resistance to the germs that most people are unaffected by.
There do seem to be good sides and bad sides to VR. Next week we will take another look at some of these and whether or not Ram has taken any of this into consideration.