VR will literally give you an existential crisis and suck your dick

There’s this weird thing about VR where I honestly think that back in 2016 around the Vive launch I experienced some kind of paradigm shift in my brain. It’s hard to quite put into words but I think there’s been a shift in how I can imagine things and how I perceive reality. This sounds sort of overly dramatic, and in a way it very much is because the impact of the changes haven’t really affected me or my life in any real way that I can tell, but I can feel it all the same.

Take for example the coffee mug on my desk, for all my life I’ve known and taken for granted that if I reach out for it and pick it up, that’s what will happen. But now, despite being ever so slight, the tiniest little thought in the back of the mind, there’s part of me that is aware that when I reach out to grab it, my hand could pass through it. Sure I had imagined that before 2016, but it would never seem possible to me and it would never occupy that tiny space of possibilities in my thoughts while reaching for the mug, and even now I still completely understand the physics of our universe enough to know that simply would never happen… but the thing is it has happened to me. I have real memories of that sort of thing happening. Even though I am fully aware that it happened in a virtual reality and not the real world, I still have real memories of putting my hands through objects, of teleporting, of sliding around rooms without moving my legs. Those things have happened to me, even if they didn’t happen in reality. And now it seems that somewhere deep down in some small way, all of those things occupy the pool of possibilities that my mind runs through while calculating the consequences of all of my actions.

The thing that made me think of all of this is that yeah, I can think of sliding around based on where I’m looking and feel a little ill at the thought because I have done that, even though in reality I haven’t. It’s like, if you’ve ever been car sick or sea sick, you can remember those things and the scenarios that caused them and feel a little off, but if you haven’t been car sick or sea sick you probably can’t. But for those the scenarios that caused them were real, you really were in that car or boat, so it makes tons of sense that you could conjure those feelings. But when I recall my stomach dropping and my hair standing on end as I did half an aileron roll in my ship so that though my windshield/viewport I could see the surface of the planet I was hurtling towards the edge of the atmosphere of, I’m reliving the feelings of something that never actually took place.

It seems so significant in my mind, much more so than I can put into words, but it also has no real impact on anything so it’s difficult to prove any significance at all since it hasn’t changed anything. Just my own perceptions.


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