Our weird (Virtual) Reality
A sis of mine has been struggling with how weird it is on imvu. We do do extreme things–have 3 ways, 4-ways, 6-ways; enslave ourselves; make love to demons; dress up in fur, fall in and out of love over the course of days, make new families. And we experience the world in such a different way. Sis pondered, “Here we are in our little virtual lives, looking for dots ..no sound…just words. And yet I’ve learned to look for the signs, when you’re distracted or sad, angry…happy so much emotion…exchanged in such a strange limited way”
I suppose to me, what we do is definitely no stranger than the games the boys play, the nuk’em gears of metal world of war. Somehow its become totally acceptable to shoot and kill and run people over virtually so why not demon sex.
And as for the fact it feels so powerful, so real, even if is limited, shouldn’t be a surprise at all. Plato said the real world we see is only a flickering shadow in the cave of the truth that really IS. I think here we can see the truth of somebody’s soul just as well even if we have to use our imagination to supplement our limited senses. Maybe even better, as we are not encumbered here by real world physics and limitations. Just because somebody loses their eyesight, doesn’t make their world any less real. In fact some blind people say it makes their world more vivid.
I was reminded recently about Kathryn Bigelow’s earlier movie, Strange Days, and how when I saw it, I longed for the virtual reality that was promised, the ability to see new worlds and visit new places. Philosophers since Hume have noted that if virtual reality became good enough we would have no way of ever knowing what’s real. I had an odd expereince the other day, noticing that as I thought back to a memory of me and my wife, the memory wasn’t of me typing at a keyboard, the memory was of her touching me, I could remember the feel of her against my skin, her breath on my neck, her lips, my tingles. Maybe for some of us, here on imvu, the dream of that virtual reality is already here.