Virtual reality (quotes)


Virtual reality is an illusion designed to take us in


Virtual reality is a simulation of a three-dimensional environment

  • Virtual reality: A simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.  Merriam Webster
  • Virtual:  Not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so”, in other words “unreal but looking real”.  Oxford Dictionary

Virtual reality is an illusion designed to take us in

  • Virtual reality is a bundle of technology that fools our senses into thinking we’ve gone somewhere else.  Ben Kuchera
  • Virtual reality is all about selling the illusion that we’re being transported somewhere entirely new. The challenge is getting users to suspend their disbelief in an immersive format, which presents hurdles not present in two-dimensional media. We accept that representations on a television screen aren’t exact or even remotely accurate, but when we’re standing in the middle of a computer-generated landscape, our real-world experiences come into conflict with simulated sensations. Michael Futter
  • Virtual reality is an event or entity that is real in effect but not in fact. Michael Heim

Virtual reality still has its limitations…

  • No matter how well virtual reality mimics the sights and sounds of flying, floating, or swimming, it’s impossible to feel that you’re really doing those things when your feet are planted firmly on solid ground.  Rachel Metz
  • Poor VR takes you straight to puke town, and nobody wants that.  Chris Sutphen
  • If you’re having a very high-adrenaline, high-movement experience in virtual reality and then all of a sudden you’re back in your office, that disconnect is pretty notable. Palmer Luckey
  • As I currently explore things like augmented and virtual reality, I constantly bring us back to actual bodies in space, real dancers that have physical manifestations not just phantoms that exist in digital space. Saya Woolfalk

…but is predicted to become a big thing

  • Virtual reality is the one-time next big thing that never quite was. Nick Scott
  • Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming.  Mark Zuckerberg

Virtual reality will advance to a time when it will become increasingly indistinguishable from reality


Virtual reality technology is rapidly advancing…

  • By the 2030s, virtual reality will be totally realistic and compelling and we will spend most of our time in virtual environments. Ray Kurzweil
  • By the end of this decade, computers will disappear as distinct physical objects, with displays built in our eyeglasses, and electronics woven in our clothing, providing full-immersion visual virtual reality.  Ray Kurzweil
  • It’s too late by the way, with virtual reality. You can’t put the genie back into the bottle. Howard Rheingold
  • New technologies are substituting a virtual reality for an actual reality. And this is more than a phase: it’s a definite change. Paul Virilio
  • The fact that we can, possibly in the future, create virtual realities with conscious beings is truly astonishing, for we have evolved from single-celled organisms that did not have a brain. Rajesh Mankar
  • The state of virtual reality is akin to the rise of PCs in the early 1980’s, when few people beyond technologists thought computers could be useful for multiple tasks like spreadsheets and other business applications. Jonathan Vanian
  • VR has finally broken the jinx and is changing all norms in the tech space. It is likely to grow exponentially as it promises a whole new dimension to customer experience. Onkar Sharma

…and has much further to go

  • There’s decades of innovations ahead. We’re at the very beginning, where it’s just at the stage where we can bring in consumers [but] there’s so much further to go from there. Brendan Iribe
  • We’re in the Pong stage of virtual reality. Basically, we hit photorealism in games almost 10 years ago. So in 35 years, we went from blocky quarter-inch pixels of Pong, to photorealism. It’s only reasonable to assume that we can do the same thing with virtual reality. Nolan Blushnell

The dividing line between reality and virtual reality will increasingly start to blur

  • As the Internet of things advances, the very notion of a clear dividing line between reality and virtual reality becomes blurred, sometimes in creative ways. Geoff Mulgan
  • Avoid overthinking the existential philosophy of the question, and just consider, if you were in a virtual world that was indistinguishable from the real world, would your visit to the Eiffel Tower be less enjoyable? Would you rather walk around the pyramids in real life, or walk on top of the pyramids in a real-seeming virtual world?  Joshua Vanderwall
  • I don’t believe in simulationism, I believe that the word is already old-fashioned. As I see it, new technologies are substituting a virtual reality for an actual reality. And this is more than a phase: it’s a definite change. Paul Virilio
  • I have a feeling Virtual Reality will further expose the conceit that ‘reality’ is a fact. It will provide another reminder of the seamless continuity between the world outside and the world within, delivering another major hit to the old fraud of objectivity. ‘Real,’ as Kevin Kelly put it, ‘is going to be one of the most relative words we’ll have.’ John Perry Barlow
  • The brain often fails to differentiate between virtual experiences and real ones. The patterns of neurons that fire when one watches a three-dimensional digital re-creation of a supermodel, such as Giselle or Fabio, are very similar–if not identical–to those that fire in the actual presence of the models. Walking a tightrope over a chasm in virtual reality can be a terrifying ordeal even if the walker knows it’s virtual rather than physical. Jim Blascovich
  • The next evolution of VR would be where you participate physically in that VR world. And not just sitting down; if you’re a quarterback, you actually get to throw a football, and you can interface with the team. Nelson Gonzalez
  • The whole idea behind virtual reality is it behaves like regular reality.  Hayden Dingman
  • Virtual reality is a self-created form of chosen reality. Therefore it exists. Joan Lowery Nixon
  • Virtual reality is in a paradoxical relationship with the real. On the one hand, it is part of the real; yet, on the other, it has to be constructed as different from the real in order to be perceived as separate from it. Thus, virtual reality consists of a dichotomous paradox, torn between its ontological status which locates it as a part of the real and its aesthetic, through which it demonstrates its difference from the real.  Gabriella Giannachi
  • VR will never look real until they learn how to put some dirt in it.  Laurie Anderson
  • The difference between the real world and the virtual one would be undetectable. For all intents and purposes, a difference would not exist. Kristin Houser

In the future, virtual reality will interface directly with the brain…

  • Before we can create a world that is truly indistinguishable from the real one, we will need to leave the age of virtual reality behind and enter a new era — the era of neuroreality. Neuroreality refers to a reality that is driven by technologies that interface directly with the human brain. While traditional VR depends on a user physically reacting to external stimuli (for example, swinging a controller to wield a virtual sword on a screen) a neuroreality system interfaces directly with the user’s biology through a brain-computer interface (BCI). Notably, this technology isn’t some far-flung sci-fi vision. It’s very real. To rehash the basics: BCIs are a means of connecting our brains to machines, and they can be either invasive (requiring an implant of some sort) or non-invasive (relying on electrodes or other external tech to detect and direct brain signals). Experts have predicted that advances in BCIs will lead to a new era in human evolution, as these devices have the potential to revolutionize how we treat diseases, learn, communicate…in short, they are set to utterly transform how we see and interact with the world around us.  Kristin Houser
  • Instead of relying on external hardware like goggles, gloves, and headphones to trick our senses into believing that what we encounter in the virtual world is real, we could program realities that trigger the same parts of our brains that would be engaged if the experiences actually were real. Kristin Houser

…either through a brain chip…

  • The ideal hardware for creating a new reality isn’t an external headset, no matter how advanced. It’s “a chip in the brain. Joy Lyons

…or less invasive means

  • EyeMynd’s system is non-invasive, meaning it wouldn’t require the user to undergo any sort of device implantation. Instead, they would wear a headset that includes EEG sensors to track their brainwaves. Kristin Houser

In the future, we will be able to navigate virtual reality worlds using thought alone

  • Founded by physicist Dan Cook in 2013, EyeMynd’s goal is to create a VR system that allows the user to navigate a virtual world simply by thought—no immersion-breaking controller required. Kristin Houser
  • we aren’t as far as we may think from the day when navigating virtual worlds using just our thoughts is the norm. Ten years from now, this will seem obvious. Dan Cook
  • When you’re in the virtual world—whether you’re playing a game or something else—you don’t want to have to keep thinking about what you’re doing with your hands. It’s much better to have pure brainwave control. It will be a much more satisfying experience and will allow for a much greater level of immersion. You can forget about your live human body, and just focus on what’s going on in front of you. In a dream, you can run around without moving your physical legs. That dreaming and imagining creates brain signals that we can read With what we want to do, you won’t need eyeballs to see, or ears to hear, or hands and feet. We can bypass all of that. Kristin Houser

Virtual reality will lead to consciousness replacing the screen to become the medium itself

  • Feeding our senses a stimuli that is so similar to what we see in reality, that we interpret it as reality. In all other mediums your consciousness is interpreting a medium. But in VR there is no gap. You aren’t internalizing it. You are internal in it. It’s a quantum leap in mediums because the medium is disappearing. Chris Milk
  • The cinema of the future will no longer be a visual art, but an art of consciousness. Morton Heilig
  • Usually, when you go to a movie, your consciousness floats above the film. 3-D sucks you in and makes it a visceral experience. James Cameron
  • With VR, you’re not interpreting the medium: you’re in it; which means that the medium is disappearing, that your consciousness becomes the medium.  Chris Milk
  • There would be no more need for screens of course — because you could just make a virtual screen appear in your visual cortex. Kristin Houser

In this way, virtual reality will feel more and more real

  • Elon Musk himself has predicted that we’ll eventually be able to create computer simulations that are indistinguishable from reality, and if these brain interfaces like Neuralink come to fruition, they could act as the platform through which we experience those simulations, allowing us to not only see a realistic world but touch it and truly feel it. Kristin Houser
  • The same part of your brain that is stimulated when you taste pizza could be triggered to engage when you bite into a slice in this new reality, and the same part that lets you smell the ocean air in reality could be simulated and provide that feeling while standing on the shore of a virtual Atlantic ocean. Kristin Houser

In time, virtual reality taken to the extreme will become simulated reality

  • 40 years ago we had Pong — two rectangles and a dot. Now 40 years later we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously and it’s getting better every year. And soon virtual reality will be followed by augmented reality. If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then soon the games will become indistinguishable from reality, just indistinguishable, and because we will not be able to distinguish real from unreal, It would seem to follow that the odds that we’re in ‘base reality’ is one in billions.  Elon Musk
  • Advances in the technology will make this experience more and more immersive by responding to all of our senses — users will be able to feel and smell, not just see and hear the virtual environment.  Ekke Piirisild
  • It is a conundrum. If you’re going to make the virtual experience so good, why should you have to go to Hawaii to experience it. How do you entice people to go if in fact they can see everything they want to see virtually?  Jim Blascovich
  • Simulated reality is the hypothesis that reality could be simulated—for example by quantum computer simulation—to a degree indistinguishable from “true” reality. This is quite different from the current, technologically achievable concept of virtual reality, which is easily distinguished from the experience of actuality. Simulated reality, by contrast, would be hard or impossible to separate from “true” reality. There has been much debate over this topic, ranging from philosophical discourse to practical applications in computing. Wikipedia
  • Simulation: An imitation of a particular appearance or form.
  • Simulation: The representation of the characteristics of one system through the use of another system.

Virtual reality will increasingly cause us to question what is real

  • If you can accept that the technology of virtual reality will one day create for you a compelling experience that is nothing like your experience when you take off the headset, then why be so certain that, when you remove the headset, you’re seeing reality as it is? Donald Hoffman
  • It could always all be unreal — how could you ever tell otherwise? You took it on trust, in part because what would be the point of doing anything else? When the fake behaved exactly like the real, why treat it as anything different? You gave it the benefit of the doubt, until something proved otherwise.  Ian M. Banks
  • This virtual reality stuff is the technological equivalent, really, of psychedelics.  Jerry Garcia
  • Virtual reality has pushed suspension of disbelief to new heights. Brad Bourque
  • VR’s very purpose is to make it difficult to distinguish simulation from reality. But what happens when the primitive brain is not equipped to process this? To what extent is VR causing users to question the nature of their own reality? And how easily are people able to tackle this line of questioning without losing their grip? Rebecca Searles

The promise of virtual reality


Virtual reality offers a chance for fully immersive and realistic experiences in virtual worlds

  • Fear has an equally significant effect on immersion in virtual reality. The nature of VR headsets keeps people in the moment, even when they want to look away or try and turn and escape…. Unless you tear the headset off, there’s no leaving the experience before it’s done.  Brad Bourque
  • The technologies of virtual reality are attempting to make us see from beneath, from inside, from behind… as if we were God.  Paul Virilio
  • The vital factor of virtual reality is immersion, the degree to which the user’s senses are limited to the simulation and screened from a real world.  Fjodor Ruzic
  • Virtual reality is the representation of possible worlds and possible selves, with the aim of making them appear as real as possible – ideally, by creating a subjective sense of “presence” and full immersion in the user. Thomas Metzinger
  • What is it like to walk in someone else’s shoes? Books allow us to imagine it, and movies allow us to see it, but VR is the first medium that actually allows us to experience it.  Nick Mokey

Virtual reality offers endless possibilities for content and experiences

  • I am convinced that this is not going to be an extension of cinema or 3-D cinema or video games. It is something new, different, and not experienced yet. The strange thing here is that normally, in the history of culture, we have new stories and narrations and then we start to develop a tool. Or we have visions of wondrous new architecture—like, let’s say, the museum in Bilbao, or the opera house in Sydney—and technology makes it possible to fulfil these dreams. So you have the content first, and then the technology follows suit. In this case, we do have a technology, but we don’t have any clear idea how to fill it with content. Werner Herzog
  • If you have perfect virtual reality eventually, where you’re be able to simulate everything that a human can experience or imagine experiencing, it’s hard to imagine where you go from there.  Palmer Luckey
  • It is possible to build a virtual-reality generator whose repertoire includes every possible environment.  David Deutsch
  • So will we be hauling ourselves to virtual parties in Vegas in the future? Perhaps! But we’ll also be partying on the tops of mountains, at the bottom of the ocean, and on the surface of the moon. Dylan Love
  • The interesting thing about virtual reality is that everything is possible. You can basically recreate a complete new reality. In any context, you can play blackjack on the moon, or you can play slots while flying around. You can create a game, where, instead of playing will let you run around in a roulette wheel or you are actually inside the slot game or you are part of the slot game or part of the story. Ray Keustermans
  • The ultimate VR is a philosophical experience, probably an experience of the sublime or awesome. The sublime, as Kant defined it, is the spine-tingling chill that comes from the realization of how small our finite perceptions are in the face of the infinity of possible, virtual worlds we may settle into and inhabit. Michael Heim
  • There are as many applications for VR as you can think of, it’s restricted by your imagination. John Goddard
  • Virtual reality will create the possibility to create realities we can’t even begin to imagine. Anthony Lambert
  • What is virtual reality, but the Spotify of human experience?  Ben Kuchera
  • Virtual reality is a denial of reality. We need to be open to the powers of imagination, which brings something useful to reality. Virtual reality can imprison people.  Hayao Miyazaki
  • VR at its best shouldn’t replace real life, just modify it, giving us access to so much just out of reach physically, economically. If you can dream it, VR can make it. Matthew Schnipper

Virtual reality will be great for video games

  • If you want to move through a virtual reality it’s called a video game, it’s been around forever. James Cameron

Virtual reality will offer the ultimate escapism

  • The promise of virtual reality has always been enormous. Put on these goggles, go nowhere, and be transported anywhere. It’s the same escapism peddled by drugs, alcohol, sex, and art — throw off the shackles of the mundane through a metaphysical transportation to an altered state.  Matthew Schnipper
  • VR is a way to escape the real world into something more fantastic. It has the potential to be the most social technology of all time. Palmer Luckey

Virtual reality will allow us to create our own stories

  • Virtual reality is all about democratizing storytelling. It gives people more control over the experience. Instead of trying to force a story upon you, we try and give you this huge playground through which you will create stories that you will then share through this medium.  Curtis Hickman

Virtual reality will offer new ways to connect with others…

  • Virtual reality is a technology that could actually allow you to connect on a real human level, soul-to-soul, regardless of where you are in the world.  Chris Milk
  • Within 25 years, virtual reality meetings will be essentially transparent to being there in person. Once we can do this, the idea of climbing into an aircraft, and burning up huge quantities of fossil fuels to propel our bodies and briefcases full of papers, will seem absolutely backward. Burt Rutan
  • Any real virtual reality enthusiast can look back at VR science fiction. It’s not about playing games … The Matrix, Snow Crash, all this fiction was not about sitting in a room playing video games. It’s about being in a parallel digital world that exists alongside our own, communicating with other people, playing with other people.  Palmer Luckey

…and share experiences with others

  • By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.  Mark Zuckerberg
  • The thing that’s remarkably beautiful to me about virtual reality is that you can make up reality in virtual reality and share it with other people. It’s like having a collaborative lucid dream. Jaron Lanier
  • Virtual reality is a medium, a means by which humans can share ideas and experiences.  Alan B. Craig
  • Virtual Reality is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.  Mark Zuckerberg

Virtual reality will allow us to extend our senses

  • Just as a microscope and a telescope extend our senses, so could VR. Howard Rheingold

Virtual reality will offer opportunities to experience being in other’s shoes

  • Virtual reality is the ‘ultimate empathy machine.’ These experiences are more than documentaries. They’re opportunities to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Chris Milk
  • What is it like to walk in someone else’s shoes? Books allow us to imagine it, and movies allow us to see it, but VR is the first medium that actually allows us to experience it. Nick Mokey

Virtual reality will allow us to experience universes and dimensions with different physical laws

  • One of the most intriguing concepts of virtual reality is the ability to achieve a realistic simulation of worlds which are entirely the product of the imagination. One example of this sense of freedom is evident in the way that virtual worlds do not have to behave according to the laws of physics which rule over our physical world. Daniela Bertol
  • Sometime in the future, science will be able to create realities that we can’t even begin to imagine. As we evolve, we’ll be able to construct other information systems that correspond to other realities, universes based on logic completely different from ours and not based on space and time. Robert Lanza
  • Virtual reality promises a kind of transcendence of the limits of physical reality.  Frank Biocca

Is our world a computer-generated virtual reality simulation?


Some believe the world we live in could be a simulated virtual reality created by aliens or our future selves

  • According to current scientific dogma, everything I experience is the result of electrical activity in my brain, and it should therefore be theoretically feasible to simulate an entire virtual world that I could not possibly distinguish from the ‘real’ world.  For all you know, the year might be 2216 and you are a bored teenager immersed inside a ‘virtual world’ game that simulates the primitive and exciting world of the early twenty-first century.  Yuval Noah Harari
  • We are now able to create virtual realities on computers. Are we all living in one created by someone in the future?  Greg Fitzsimmons
  • Are we, in fact, digital beings living in a vast computer simulation created by our own future descendants or future post human civilization? Recently, a number of philosophers, futurists, science-fiction writers, and technologists — people who share a strong faith in technological progress, have come to believe that the simulation argument is not just plausible, but inevitable. They argue that if consciousness can be simulated in a computer and the advanced civilizations are bound to have access to truly stupendous amounts of computing power, then, the notion that the present physical world itself is virtual is quite reasonable. Ashutosh Jain
  • Are you living in a computer simulation? Nick Bostrom
  • Humanity is living in a virtual reality universe, a video game created by a civilization 1,000 to 100,000 years older than the human race. And they themselves are also simulations (virtual reality). These levels of hierarchies can extend to a vast degree above us, creating levels of gods or spirits. Laurence Galian
  • If our 3D reality is actually a simulation, then what we think of as physical space and time are really virtual constructs. Rizwan Virk
  • If we create virtual characters who live in a virtual world, we may need to implant memories to make the characters feel real inside that world. Rizwan Virk
  • Mathematicians have proved that a universal computing machine can create an artificial world that is itself capable of simulating its own world, and so on ad infinitum. In other words, simulations nest inside simulations inside simulations … Because fake worlds can outnumber real ones without restriction, the “real” multiverse would inevitably spawn a vastly greater number of virtual multiverses. Indeed, there would be a limitless tower of virtual multiverses, leaving the “real” one swamped in a sea of fakes. So the bottom line is this: Once we go far enough down the multiverse route, all bets are off. Reality goes into the melting pot, and there is no reason to believe we are living in anything but a Matrix-style simulation. Science is then reduced to a charade, because the simulators of our world — whoever or whatever they are — can create any pseudo-laws they please, and keep changing them.  Paul Davies
  • Mathematics leads you to a very scary conclusion: since there is only one real world, whereas the number of potential virtual worlds is infinite, the probability that you happen to inhabit the sole real world is almost zero.  Yuval Noah Harari
  • Perhaps our world is a computer simulation and we are just avatars that haunt it—as in movies such as The Matrix or The Thirteenth Floor, and games such as The Sims. Perhaps some geek, in another world, gets her kicks creating and controlling us and our world. That geek and her world might in turn be the digital plaything of a geek in a lower-level world. This might continue for multiple levels, until we reach some base level where the first simulation runs. Perhaps that level was conceived by a single edgy artist, or arose as a joint endeavor of a brilliant civilization beyond our imagination, or started as a scientific experiment to test whether new rules of physics could spark fascinating life forms whose creativity and pleasure was worth the pain they suffered. This possibility is not dismissed by some serious thinkers, such as philosophers Nick Bostrom and David Chalmers, as well as tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, and it has interesting points in its favor. Spacetime, for instance, may be pixelated much like a computer screen; the three dimensions of space are a holographic inflation much like the virtual worlds of video games.  Donald Hoffman
  • The first human-to-computer uploads of 2100 will prove that a perfect simulation is the thing being simulated – that a silicon soul doesn’t need a physical body to inhabit. So eventually everybody who ever lived will be resurrected inside a living machine indistinguishable from God. Isn’t it amazing what you can do with unlimited hard-disk space? Frank J. Tipler
  • There are readily apparent signs all around us that point to the distinct probability that we may be living in a simulation. One:  AI, machine learning, virtual reality and video games have taken huge leaps forward in the past twenty years. Two:  We know subatomic particles must exist, but we still can’t come close to actually seeing them, and no one has the faintest idea how we might ever do that.   Three:  Conversely to point two, the farther we look into the universe, the larger the universe seems to be.  Four:  Our odds of ever existing in the first place verge on the incalculably small: the tiniest variations in any physical constant or in Earth’s material make-up and position in the Solar System would have prevented life from evolving.  Five:  The Fermi Paradox. Our Milky Way galaxy alone, not counting the billions of other galaxies out there, may have hundreds of thousands or even millions of life-harboring planets, thousands of which may have evolved intelligent, technological life. Why is there no evidence of them?  Tony Deller

…or a computer game…

  • Each character we play is like a life that we are living “in world”—i.e., in a simulated virtual world, and we go through the “virtual life,” which, from the characters’ point of view, is real and their only life. Of course, the reason the metaphor works in the simulation hypothesis and in the Eastern traditions is because there is a part of each character that is outside the game world: the player. Rizwan Virk
  • If this pace of improvement of video games continues into the future, what kinds of sophisticated video games will we be able to produce? Will we eventually be able to produce a game with such high resolution that it will be indistinguishable from reality? And if so, could we already be inside such a video game? Rizwan Virk

…although not all agree

  • I object to the notion that posthumans would have a reason to run simulated universes: “…being so advanced they would have collected enough knowledge about their past to have little interest in this kind of simulation. …They may have virtual-reality museums, where they could go and experience the lives and tribulations of their ancestors. But a full-fledged, resource-consuming simulation of an entire universe? Sounds like a colossal waste of time. Physicist Marcelo Gleiser

Imagine a virtual reality movie of the future

  • [In a fully immersive 3-d movie movie], you would first get to select which character you want to be. Let’s say you decide, “I’ll be James Bond.” Okay, but once you push the button, that’s it. The button had better be on a timer! You, as you currently know yourself, are no longer there. Since all of your thoughts are now James Bond’s thoughts, your entire existing self-concept is gone. Remember, your self-concept is just a collection of thoughts about yourself. Likewise, your emotions are Bond’s and you are watching the movie through his visual and auditory perspective. The only aspect of your being that remains the same is the consciousness that is aware of these objects. It is the same center of awareness that was aware of your old set of thoughts, emotions, and sensory input. Now someone turns off the movie. Immediately, Bond’s thoughts and emotions are replaced with your old set of thoughts and emotions. You’re back to thinking that you’re a forty-year-old woman. All the thoughts match. All the emotions match. Everything looks like, smells like, tastes like, and feels like it did before. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is all just something consciousness is experiencing. It is all just objects of consciousness, and you are the consciousness. Michael A. Singer
  • Cinema is a technologically mediated dreamspace, a way to access, a portal to the numinous that unfolded in the fourth dimension, so cinema became sort of a waking dream where we can travel in space and time, where we can travel in mind. This became more than virtual reality, this became a real virtuality. Jason Silva
  • Everybody’s saying we’ve got to go 3D or virtual reality or choose your own adventure. But there are other ways forward. I don’t think we’re done with film by a long shot.  Shane Carruth
  • Imagine a movie experience of the future. You go into the cinema and put on a special headset. This blocks out all your own thoughts (including all your memories of who you are) and your feelings. In this state, if there was no movie playing, there would just be a naked sense of being; the sense of being aware of being aware. The movie starts and you start to receive the thoughts, feelings, sensations and perceptions created for the character including memories arising from time to time to give you the sense of having a past.  You completely believe yourself to be the character, completely immersed in his experiences.  The only way that you can get in touch with who you are in reality is to detach as much as possible from the experience of the movie and sink into your true nature, your true being, which exists in the awareness of being aware.  Anthony Lambert
  • Imagine you are fully immersed in a temporary virtual reality experience of being a fictitious movie character. Your own thoughts and emotions have been temporarily blocked during the movie experience including any personal memories arising of who are really are beyond the movie. Instead, you are fed the thoughts and emotions scripted for the character, in addition to a host of visual, auditory and sensory stimuli. For the duration of the movie, you fully experience being the movie character, believing you are actually it. The experience of being the character could not be more real. However, in reality, the character is an illusion because it does not actually exist as an entity independent of consciousness. The conscious mind of the character is actually your consciousness, but during the movie experience, it is only a receiver of qualia (thoughts, emotions, sensations, perceptions.) In other words, it is a passive witness.  During the movie, you believe you are the character and identify with its thoughts and emotions and life story. If you were to suddenly realise you were in a virtual reality movie, you’d still be unable to know who you are because the memories of your real life are still temporarily blocked. The closest you could come to knowing and being your true self would be to rest deeply in the awareness of being awareness.  Because the awareness knowing the experiences of the character, and temporarily believing itself to be the character, is actually your awareness. This awareness is all that’s real in the movie.  It’s your true identity.  Anthony Lambert
  • Let’s say it’s the year 2100 and you’re in a completely realistic virtual reality movie without knowing it because you took an amnesia pill. What, in the world of the movie, is still essentially you? Is it your body?  No, that’s part of the movie experience.  Is it your thoughts?  No, thoughts are being fed to you and your own have been blocked.  Are you your emotions?  No, they too are being fed to you.  What, in this experience, is essentially you?  Your awareness, that’s what!  The awareness by which the movie experiences are being known is yours.  It’s the only thing in the movie that is essentially real.  And it’s the only thing in the movie that’s essentially you.  And does that awareness exist in the movie world?  No, the movie world is arising in it.  Anthony Lambert
  • Now imagine that movies are made that not only engage the five senses, but also make your thoughts and emotions synchronize with what’s happening on the screen. With this movie experience, you’re hearing, seeing, tasting, and suddenly you begin feeling the character’s emotions and thinking the character’s thoughts. The character says, “I’m so nervous. Should I ask her to marry me?” and suddenly insecurity wells up inside of you. Now we have the full dimension of the experience: five physical senses, plus thoughts and emotions. Imagine going to that movie and getting plugged in. Careful, that would be the end of you as you know yourself. There would be no object of consciousness that is not synchronized with the experience. Any place your awareness falls would be part of the movie. Once the movie gets control of the thoughts, it’s over. There is no “you” in there saying, “I don’t like this movie. I want to leave.” That would take an independent thought, but your thoughts have been taken over by the movie. Now you are completely lost. How will you ever get out? Michael A. Singer
  • There’s no way that filmmaking is going to stay flat. Instead we will have fully embodied, walk around, room-scale, volumetric experiences. Nonny de la Peña

Will real life be able to compete with virtual reality experiences?


In the future there will be two realities: the actual and the virtual

  • We are entering a world where there won’t be one but two realities, just like we have two eyes or hear bass and treble tones, just like we now have stereoscopy and stereophony: there will be two realities: the actual, and the virtual. Thus there is no simulation, but substitution. Reality has become symmetrical. The splitting of reality in two parts is a considerable event which goes far beyond simulation. Paul Virilio

Will the real world of experience be able to compete with virtual reality?

  • The real world just doesn’t offer up as easily the carefully designed pleasures, the thrilling challenges, and the powerful social bonding afforded by virtual environments. Reality doesn’t motivate us as effectively. Reality isn’t engineered to maximize our potential. Reality wasn’t designed from the bottom up to make us happy. Jane McGonigal
  • These new technologies try to make virtual reality more powerful than actual reality, which is the true accident. The day when virtual reality becomes more powerful than reality will be the day of the big accident. Mankind never experienced such an extraordinary accident. Paul Virilio
  • We don’t need virtual reality, we need virtual unreality. Peter Greenaway
  • Once you have perfect virtual reality, what else are you supposed to perfect?  Palmer Luckey

More and more we will get pulled into virtual reality worlds

  • Over the next generation or two, ever larger numbers of people, hundreds of millions, will become immersed in virtual worlds and online games. While we are playing, things we used to do on the outside, in “reality,” won’t be happening anymore, or won’t be happening in the same way. You can’t pull millions of person-hours out of a society without creating an atmospheric-level event. Jane McGonigal

Simpler forms of virtual reality


The telephone is a form of virtual reality

  • The telephone is virtual reality in that you can meet with someone as if you are together, at least for the auditory sense. Ray Kurzweil

Photography is a form of virtual reality

  • Photography is a kind of virtual reality, and it helps if you can create the illusion of being in an interesting world. Steven Pinker

Books are a form of virtual reality

  • The best proof of the specificity of the book is that it is at once a reality of the virtual and a virtuality of the real. Gaston Bachelard
  • The real tight interface is between the book and the reader-the world of the book is plugged right into your brain, never mind the [virtual reality] bodysuit.  Bill McKibben
  • We love books because they are the greatest escape. That is because our own minds eye is the purest form of virtual reality. R. Mathias

Our brains are virtual reality headsets


Our brains are virtual reality headsets designed to help us play the game of life

  • Imagine you are playing a virtual reality game. You might be driving a car, for instance, and can see the steering wheel in your hands. “We all know that these objects don’t really exist, they are the result of computer software that renders them,” says Hoffman. There is a reality to the game, but it is the software and circuits of the computer. It would be impossible to play the game if we operated at this level. Instead, our brain perceives constructs such as the steering wheel, letting us play. Hoffman argues that this trickery doesn’t just happen in video games, but in every moment of our lives. “What I’m claiming is that we’re born with a virtual reality headset on. Evolution gave us a VR headset to simplify things, to give us what we need to play the game of life, without knowing what the reality is.” Donna Lu
  • We know that our reality is an illusion, what we see, is not really there. It’s all inside our mind, much like a personal virtual reality. But this does prove that our mind is incredibly powerful, it’s responsible for everything we experience! Tony Phinspire
  • If you can accept that the technology of virtual reality will one day create for you a compelling experience that is nothing like your experience when you take off the headset, then why be so certain that, when you remove the headset, you’re seeing reality as it is? Donald Hoffman
  • Is space quantized—i.e., does it consist of pixels like a virtual world? Rizwan Virk
  • My perception of the external world is an internal construction, akin to a simulation. James B. Glattfelder
  • Naïve realism is the assumption that the human brain delivers a picture of reality, when in fact it doesn’t. It delivers a convincing three-dimensional image of the world that is nothing more than a perception. Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos
  • Our brain simulates reality. So, our everyday experiences are a form of dreaming, which is to say, they are mental models, simulations, not the things they appear to be. Stephen LaBerge
  • So my brain is actually a virtual reality headset? Yes, indeed! In a particular sense, you live in a virtual reality. The outside world is made out of electrical energy that contains information, much like a video game runs on electricity and contains lines of code. Our brain translates those bits of information outside of ourselves creating a personal virtual reality.  Tony Phinspire
  • Space, time, and physical objects are not objective reality. They are simply the virtual world delivered by our senses to help us play the game of life. Donald Hoffman
  • Spacetime is your virtual reality, a headset of your own making. The objects you see are your invention. You create them with a glance and destroy them with a blink. You have worn this headset all your life. What happens if you take it off? Donald Hoffman
  • The brain can be compared to a virtual reality headset that creates a three-dimension virtual world made of perception. Anthony Lambert
  • The brain is a virtual reality headset that converts we know not what into a convincing 3-dimensional world of time and space. Anthony Lambert
  • The perception of the external world is a virtual reality simulation. James B. Glattfelder
  • Think of it this way: how would a robot be constructed to handle its surroundings? It would need some sort representation of what it perceives and then act according to this model. This is exactly what it is to know something: to have a model of it in your brain. Everything you experience in your mind is this model. So what you experience is an illusion. Its not the “real world”. Mats Wessling
  • What we call our sober state of consciousness is in fact an elaborate hallucination—an internal simulation—guided by some external stimuli. What we perceive is a creation of our minds. James B. Glattfelder

Life is virtual reality


Life and the world is an immersive virtual reality experience

  • My life is a completely immersive movie that has 3-D vision and surround sound. The world I experience in this movie is a virtual reality world made of perception; not matter. In this sense, the world I experience is no more physically real than the world that Leo initially experiences in “The Matrix”. Anthony Lambert
  • Right now, you have a movie playing inside your head. It’s an amazing multi-track movie. It has 3D vision and surround sound for what you’re seeing and hearing right now, but that’s just the start of it. Your movie has smell and taste and touch. It has a sense of your body, pain, hunger, orgasms. It has emotions, anger and happiness. It has memories, like scenes from your childhood playing before you. And it has this constant voiceover narrative in your stream of conscious thinking. At the heart of this movie is you experiencing all this directly. This movie is your stream of consciousness, the subject of experience of the mind and the world. David Chalmers
  • Suppose you drive with friends to a virtual-reality arcade to play volleyball. You slip on headsets and body suits, and find your avatars clad in swimsuits, immersed in sunshine, standing on a sandy beach with a volleyball net, surrounded by swaying palms and crying gulls. You serve the ball and start playing with abandon. After a while, one of your friends says he’s thirsty and will be right back. He slips out of his headset and body suit. His avatar collapses onto the sand, inert and unresponsive. But he’s fine. He just stepped out of the virtual-reality interface. When we die, do we simply slip out of the spacetime interface of Homo sapiens?  Donald Hoffman
  • The “cosmic motion picture” is true not only to two human senses, sight and hearing, but to all five. It is presented to us three-dimensionally and includes the illusion of smell, taste, and touch. And yet, just as the light emanating from the projection booth produces mere images of reality, so also does God’s light produce mere appearances. Swami Kriyananda
  • The dream of life is really an illusion, and everybody lives in the reality he or she creates – a virtual reality that is only true for the one who creates it.  Miguel Angel Ruiz
  • The Earth school is not a concept. It is an ongoing 3-dimesional, full colour, hi-fidelity, interactive multi-media experience that does not end until your soul goes home (until you die). Gary Zukav
  • The world you see is just a movie in your mind. Jack Kerouac
  • Virtual reality isn created from ones and zeros. It looks as if we’re in a vast stadium shooting and scoring, but behind the vivid veneer, it’s just a dance of opposites. Life is not a computer-generated virtual reality, but they are comparable because our experience is also fundamentally structured by the play of polarity. I guess that is why when we invented computers, polarity was the obvious idea to employ. Tim Freke

The world we experience is a virtual world made of perception

  • You are at a beach. You look around and see waves coming in and sand glistening in the sun. Now imagine that virtual reality technology has progressed really far and someone has created a virtual reality experience of the same beach. You put on a brain probe and its exactly like you’re there.  You see waves coming in and feel sand crunching beneath your feet. The virtual-reality experience feels identical to the real thing.  Now ask yourself, what is the difference between the two experiences?  Which was real?  The answer is that both experiences were identical, and both were virtual experiences.  When you were at the actual beach, you did not experience a world made of matter.  You experienced a world made of perceptions arising in your awareness.  In the virtual experience, you did not see a world made of digital images, you saw a world made of perceptions arising in your awareness.  As real as it seems, the entire world we actually experience is always made of perception, no more physically real than the world Leo initially experiences in the movie “The Matrix”.  The world we actually experience is always a virtual world. We can’t even ever prove that a world made of matter actually even exists. Anthony Lambert

Dreaming is virtual reality


When we dream at night, we experience highly believable virtual reality simulations

  • Dreams are like little simulations. They are created for each of our minds to go into each evening, to serve some purpose. Rizwan Virk
  • Our dreams are like simulation. We have virtual scenes projected in front of our minds. Some characters are real, some are not. We interact with the virtual dream world. It’s the same game play loop we use when we play video games. Rizwan Virk
  • We experience virtual reality on most nights while we are asleep, through our dreams. Rajesh Mankar

Virtual reality is like dreaming awake

  • Virtual reality is like dreaming with your eyes open.  Brennan Spiegel

The dream of self is a kind of virtual reality

  • The dream self is a conditioned existence. In some computer games, participants wear stereoscopic goggles that produce images of a virtual reality. Similarly, in the dream of self, conditioning creates a virtual reality that says: “My husband should listen more.” These are thought-based interpretations of reality based on memory.   Liberation is like taking the goggles off. It is seeing reality the way it is, including the thoughts that are arising. Life is not conceptual. When this is seen, what is left is a love of reality. This love is not dependent on thought. For example, your love for your husband has nothing to do with whether he does what you “think” he should do. This is unconditional love.  Scott Kiloby

Is God having virtual reality experiences through us?


God puts on the virtual reality headset of the mind to experience the world

  • If I were formless, timeless, dimensionless Being with the potential to know, do and create absolutely anything, what would I do? Surely it would be amazing to create an unlimited number of virtual movie-like worlds and then dive in and experience them? Anthony Lambert
  • Life is a fully immersive, experiential work of art that the artist gets to plunge into and experience first hand after completion after taking an amnesia pill. Anthony Lambert
  • Consciousness puts on a virtual reality headset made of thought and perception and it refracts itself into a multiplicity and diversity of objects that we call the universe. Rupert Spira
  • Presence ‘puts on’ the mind, which appears to project a world outside itself. But the mind is itself made out of the Presence from which it seems to be separated. Rupert Spira

More thoughts

  • When you think about creating content for virtual reality, it’s more like theatre than movies. But it’s a very unusual theatre: for one person.  Simon Bensen
  • A person needed to experience real danger or they would never find joy in excelling. There had to be a risk of failure, the chance to die. Brandon Sanderson
  • Being virtually killed by virtual laser in virtual space is just as effective as the real thing, because you are as dead as you think you are.  Douglas Adams
  • The problem with VR is you don’t know who you are.  Reggie Watts

On a lighter note

  • Most people are awaiting Virtual Reality; I’m awaiting virtuous reality. Eli Khamarov
  • When virtual reality gets cheaper than dating, society is doomed. Scott Adams