Title: The Power of Virtual Reality

Essay by gakuseUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, March 2004

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Name: Toh Lai Hee

Class: IA05A (Interactive)

Lecturer: Mumtaz Maricar

Subject: Space and Spectacle

The terms 'Virtual Reality' (also known as VR in short or 'Virtual Space') and 'Cyberspace' had been a recent hip. I remember when I was still in Informatics doing my multimedia diploma back in the 2000, I don't even know what's VR all about. No one really talk about VR here in those days. With movies like 'The Matrix', 'eXistenZ' and 'The Thirteenth Floor', it seem that the kind of spaces that I will be talking about are even more defined and identified nowadays.

So, you may be wondering what exactly is 'Virtual Reality' and 'Cyberspace'. The term 'Virtual Reality' (VR) was initially coined by Jaron Lanier, founder of VPL Research (1989) and the term 'Cyberspace' by William Gibson in 1984, which is even earlier than VR. Today, 'Virtual Reality' is used in a variety of ways and often in a confusing and misleading manner.

Originally, the term was referred to 'Immersive Virtual Reality'. In immersive VR, the user becomes fully immersed in an artificial, three-dimensional (3D) world that is completely generated by a computer, example like 'The Matrix'.

'The Matrix' is all about this guy named Neo, who started off as a computer hacker in the movie. As the movie proceed, a guy named Morpheus has actually been searching for Neo for a number of years, as he was convinced that Neo is 'The One' who will liberate humanity from 'The Matrix', vast virtual reality (VR) system which Neo had thought was 'the real world'. 'The Matrix', a computer representation of Earth, was programmed and created to make the ignorant human to believe that they are living in the real world. Neo was supposedly born with some special powers that would...