Sun, Oct 7, 2007
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Thoughts on Virtual Reality
Recently I've come to appreciate Neuromancer in a whole new way. For the longest time I thought of the book as too abstract and a little slow, as opposed to Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash, which gave so much detail about the Metaverse you could sit down and begin programming it. I always thought the difference was that Gibson couldn't imagine what this virtual reality would be like, so he left it vague.

As virtual reality is becoming more central to people lives and businesses, I'm beginning to understand one reason why he might have structured the novel in the way he did. For those who aren't familiar with the book, it follows a man who's been neurologically damaged so he cant enter cyberspace. He turns into functioning alcoholic, and much of the book deals with his detachment from the world, living his life in a half waking state.

Something fundamental about the world we live in today is that as long as you are alive, you exist in three dimensional space, are affected by gravity, and all other forces in our universe. With the rise of virtual reality we will form an attachment to an entirely different space. The character in Neuromance defined himself by cyberspace, he thought in the dimensions of cyberspace. When this was taken away from him he was alive, but didn't exist in his reality. The thought of being in this state make me recognize how ahead of his time Gibson was.

Sun, Oct 7, 2007  Permanent link
Categories: Virtual Reality, computers
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