This article, written by Steven Kotler for Forbes Magazine in 2014, explores the next technological addiction. As I have been researching all the various technology stresses, addictions, and potential behavioral influences, this is the one that gives me the most cause for concern. Virtual Reality (VR) is practically indistinguishable from actual reality. Your brain receives cues from the five senses. When those five senses are immersed in a coordinated and sustained environment, artificial or not, it is perceived as an actual experience. All the addictions that have come before are child’s play compared to this one. When this hits the market on a larger scale, it could produce a serious real world immigration, where large swatches of society begin to live more in the virtual world than the actual world. RE
Today, “serious gaming” using VR is how we train astronauts, military pilots, and, more and more, surgeons. Why? Because, the science shows, our brains respond to second-hand stimulus (a virtual world) in ways that mirror first person experiences and—more importantly—the brain can be tricked/trained into deepening those responses (Forbes, 2014).