In his writing “The Virtual and the Real”, he discusses his beliefs on the outside world’s perspective on what is real and virtual. In it, it is clear that Chalmers is a major advocate for VR and believes that the possibilities are continuously growing and could culminate into a virtual world that is highly realistic and will draw millions of people into becoming a part of this virtual community.
However, not all individuals feel that this potential virtual universe where many individuals will possibly be spending more and more of their “real” lives in a virtual universe. Many individuals discuss the very likely possibility that several people could potentially become addicted to this virtual world and only exist in this world. Scotty Hendricks in his article “If the future is full of VR addicts, should we bring them back to reality?” discusses the possible ways in which future generations will need to deal with this issue as virtual reality becomes more and more intoxicating as it increases in realness and connections.
Hendricks first discusses the already prevalent issue of internet addiction especially concerning the younger generation. He acknowledges the fact that there have already been studies that show how this new surge of technologies can begin to disrupt our lives from sleeping patterns to overall health issues. Another issue that Hendricks discusses are other addictions that also currently exist that could potentially cause an even bigger surge in addictive behavior. One addiction is that of internet pornography. There already advancements in Virtual Reality porn and one can only imagine the possible affect it could have if in a virtual world where individuals are somehow able to meet other avatars and perform some kind of sexual intercourse. Another addiction is that of online gaming. Over the previous years, this has become more and more frequent and has even led to many individuals dying because of this addiction. If an individual is capable of fulling placing themselves inside a game universe, then it is only logical to assume that this will also be an extremely addictive behavior and could possibly lead to several individuals only having a life inside the virtual world.
Hendrick’s concerns raise several key issues. With the advancements in Virtual Reality becoming more and more inexpensive, realistic, and overall desirable will there come a time when individuals will need some kind of intervention in order to draw themselves back in the “real” world. The main issue with this is that I believe it ultimately depends on your viewpoint of the benefits and possible negative affects that Virtual Reality can have. While some individuals may see this as a new realm where already addictive behaviors can be amplified, some may feel that an individual who wants to completely live out an existence in the virtual world is completely normal. I feel, though, that at some point when the advancements in technology reach a certain highly realistic and inexpensive level, there will need to be some sort of limit or cutoff point that will allow individuals to have complete access and involvement in “The Virtual and The Real”.