“In short media and communications might not produce all of “the real”, but they definitely produce more and more of “reality” (our limited experience of the real).”

A quote from Andrew’s lecture has summed up the role of media in reality, and of course, there is just so much to say on this. I totally agree with Andrew’s point that media and communications has produced various form of reality, probably most of the reality we are dealing with nowadays has something to do with media.

And this just reminds me an article on the ‘Next Five in Five’ from IBM. In the article, ” one of the five expected innovations is ‘holographic 3D mobile conversations’ – something that would truly be science fiction meeting reality.”

http://www.3dfocus.co.uk/3d-news-2/ibm-3d-hologram-mobile

And again, this blur the boundaries for reality and virtual, can we define the 3D hologram as ‘reality’? Yes as in the hologram is actually showing your friends? No as in they are not physically there?

So back to the topic, virtual reality (VR).VR is probably one of the most popular and familiar for us in recent years. According to Wikipedia, the definition of VR is a term that “applies to computer simulated environments that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds.” Yes, we have to agree that VR technology has a huge effect on the society when it comes to things like medical treatment, scenario practicing for the army. However, it also draws quite a lot of consequences when it comes to video and online games. We have to question ourselves whether the virtual is real or what reality is. You may think this is exaggerating, but some seriously involved gamers do have a tough time on this. Indeed, there is vast media coverage on gamers spending too many times on online or video gaming that lead to death.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-02/28/content_815396.htm

This is just one of many examples. Also, I believe the VR technology doe change the reality in different aspects. One common issue is the virtual violence in video and online game. Well, I totally agree that as in the actual world, we can just know about violence through our parents, friends, but then the VR technology has actually visualized the whole violence and give a much clearer sense to us how does violence actually work. And then it just leads to the idea that Andrew has raised in the course reader. The ideas of virtual in Andrew‘s (2011) sense is ‘the potential waiting to be actualized’ and also if something is virtual, it is ‘something that has gained potential by being de-actualized.’ I am indeed very much confused before the tutorial, but I think in brief, every virtual thing has the potential to become the actual thing. The violence from virtual reality probably is probably an example on this. We all know what violence is, but it is our own decisions on whether we ‘actualize’ that in the real world.

In addition, Grayson’s article (2009) has introduced another kind of reality, the augmented reality. Basically it is “a term for a live direct or an indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer generated  sensory input, such as sound or graphics” according to Wikipedia. The ideas are amazing; I am shocked to see the virtual mirror by Ray-Ban, and how BMW has used technology of augmented reality as a way of teaching their mechanics to repair a car. (More videos can be found on the website, which are all worth to watch!)

Grayson, Chris (2009) ‘Augmented Reality Overview’, GigantiCo

<http://gigantico.squarespace.com/336554365346/2009/6/23/augmented-reality-overview.html> (accessed on 29 March 2011)

Murphie, Andrew (2011) ‘Is The Virtual Real?’ Advanced Media Issues

Wikipedia ‘Augmented Reality’ <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_reality>  (accessed on 29 March 2011)

Wikipedia ‘Virtual Reality’, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_reality> (accessed on 29 March 2011)

Wesley

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