Re: Matrix Shmatrix

Robin Hanson (
Mon, 12 Apr 1999 15:08:05 -0700

Mike Lorrey wrote:
>Its a classic promise/warning piece of fiction. This is what VR will be
>like, indistinguishable from reality as we know it ...

I couldn't disagree more. A world of people who don't know they aren't living in a 1990 city is vastly different from most real future VR, IMHO. Sure the tech could make things look that vivid, but ...

1) Most VR will not be used for role playing.
2) Most role playing will not be faithful simulations of history.
3) Most history simulation role playing VR will not be done by

amnesiacs who honestly don't remember that its just a simulation. 4) Most amnesia history role playing won't be done with thousands of

people over decades of time.

Really, instead of role-playing, VR will mostly be used to fascilitate other goals. Shopping, travel, social gatherings, sales meetings, etc. All where people know what year it is and aren't pretending otherwise. Worlds will be chosen to fascilitate these processes. Physical laws can easily be broken, but deviations would be limited by our vast cognitive investment in dealing the familiar laws.

Robin Hanson   
RWJF Health Policy Scholar             FAX: 510-643-8614 
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 510-643-1884 after 8/99: Assist. Prof. Economics, George Mason Univ.