Re: Matrix Shmatrix (what is VR good for?)

Brian Atkins (
Tue, 13 Apr 1999 03:17:03 -0400

"Michael S. Lorrey" wrote:
> Robin Hanson wrote:
> >
> > 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.
> Aw, Robin, you're being way to literally minded here. VR is already

I think he missed your point - you were referring to the quality of reality that VR will eventually achieve, he is talking about how VR was used in the movie.

> for role playing in VR chat, and the trend in video games is that VR
> will be the state of the art in video games, and role playing is the
> form of long duration gaming of choice.

Definitely. One of the hottest games out right now is Everquest. A "massively multiplayer" RPG. It's advertising slogan is: "You're in our world now"

> As for the amnesia part, well, think about this: Take an 8 year old kid
> and stick him on a VR system for his education and entertainment, heck
> even for use for his physical fitness training, and by the time he's 18
> he won't know what is really reality. Real reality will seem blase,
> generic, vanilla compared to VR.
> >
> > 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, you're acting WAY too grown up for this.... "SALES MEETINGS!" for
> gawds sakes!!!!! eeewwwwwww......

If only Robin were right... then we might actually have something so cool as the matrix described by William Gibson. But so far business hasn't really found any good uses for VR. I don't do any programming in VR. My dad doesn't have any sales meetings in VR - he finds that teleconferencing is fine... I actually spent a few months a couple of years back working on a cyberspace system, but ended up scrapping it because I really couldn't see people using it.

"Knowing the path is not the same as walking it."
          -Morpheus _The Matrix_