Virtually Real – Are we losing our grip on reality?

in Artwork, Entertainment, Merchandise, Technology, Video Games, What If

Recently this provocative graphic (as seen on The Investigative’s Facebook Page), coinciding with the recent release of Sony’s Oculus Rift,  made its way around the weird wide web.

The InvestigativeIt stirred more than a few thoughts:

We live in an age of amazing escapes and faux adventures.  The miracles of modern technology can whisk us away to the destination of our desires, be that via social media and viral videos or the latest wizardry to materialize – virtual reality.  These same state of the art computer companions allow others to create whole lands and worlds for even more complex excitement and immersive saccharine lands of play and fantasy.

Is it too much?  Are we losing our grip on reality?  Can focusing too much on the magical mythological lands of facades and whiz bang machines be too much escapism?  Themed attractions, even a rise in popular “escape rooms” are in high demand as evidenced by overcrowded parks with their ticket prices happily rising to stem some of the demand. Do we spend too much time with our heads down, buried in our smart devices or enveloping alternate-reality goggles?

We hide in these ‘safe zones’ while the world wanders off into a slow but steady self-destruction.  Hate, pollution, corruption, and crime spend equal times in the nightly opinion programs (which in many cases can no longer be called “news”), only to be counterbalanced with the latest new shiny thing or amazing destination – almost as if the very objects we crave are being fed to us in a way to distract from the real issues and problems happening all around us.

Can we manage to put the device down and communicate face to face?  Is it possible to harness the tech and innovation to serve a higher purpose – solving the problems of poverty and climate crisis?  Are we willing to unglue our eyes and senses from the desire for distraction long enough to take in the REAL world and enjoy life, family and friends.

Tech and play places can and DO serve their purposes: as a helping hand, a chance to unwind for a brief rest or recharge, which can offer hope and vision – if we keep it in balance.

What are YOUR thoughts – are we as a society losing ourselves in the gizmos and whimsical worlds of escapism?  How much do these things rule your world?  Please, comment below.

UPDATE (4/1/16)):  It would seem that Google has come up with a viable solution:

(cover image via Oculus Rift’s website/presskit)

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