Popular Views Of VR and IV

The popularity of Virtual Reality is amazing. From William Gibson's Neuromancer to Lawnmower Man and beyond we have been steeped in what VR is, should be, and will be. But most of what was done in movies are conceptualized by non technical people. What happens when technical people dream about VR?

One of the main problems for myself was looking at what in movies and TV (the media) is VR and IV. From what I have seen and read, as far as I can tell Information Visualization is a specialized subset of VR and many of the things we see in the media are new ways to visualize information. For example, look at TekWar, the computer cowgirl looks at a holographic visual representation of code and information on the network or information super-highway. In Lawnmower Man we see Pierce Brosnan manipulating a 3d pattern of Jobe's brain waves and a 3d representation of Jobe's brain.

In the movie Mindwarp we see a different side of VR. In this movie we see how people hide from reality spending nearly their entire lives in VR with very little contact outside of their favorite little fake world. VR is made out to be a neccessary evil for these people but even the heroin cannot escape from VR the entire adventure takes place in VR (sorry to ruin the movie for you but it is not that good any way). Mindwarp shows the allure of VR and where it could lead aswell as the downfall of social interaction.

Here is a short list of movies and books that containt VR or IV components:

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Last updated Tuseday March 21, 1995