Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Virtual Reality Of The Mind

Have you ever had a moment where you just let your imagination overcome you? Maybe you were sitting in class and was bored by the professor (which could never happen in this class), so you decided to daydream. Consider for a moment what you are doing. You are sitting in one place, but your mind has drifted into another world, probably creating different scenarios that may stem from your life. Sometimes, the emotions within your imagination is so strong that you feel the effects of these thoughts. In effect, you are experiencing a virtual reality of the mind.

Now consider creative writers. They spends hours developing new scenarios, sometimes creating stories of how they want to be. They become so involved with these characters that they may connect to them and feel they are real, while some of it might be a reflection of the author. Creative writers may write to escape from reality and become so involved that they become a part of this world they develop. I have written several stories and I can testify to the fact that a lot of my writing begins from my own experiences, and sometimes I am so connected to this world that I sympathize with the characters and the events I create. Though I am not hooked up to a machine that reproduces reality, my imagination runs so high that I feel that I have become a part of this other world.

What about you? What about the reader? Have you ever just sat down and read a book that featured a character more successful than you, so much so that you picture yourself in that role. How different is this from the purpose of virtual reality? The mind can be so real that your thoughts can have a physical effect on you. Consider the cases of people who became sick because they thought they were. Have you ever heard the expression: it is all in your mind? Would it be too much of a stretch to claim that imagination is a natural version of virtual reality?


terra said...

I wouldn't say that it would be success that draws me into a character, but finding a character/characters that I relate to. It definitely makes the book more exciting when you can place yourself for a character or imagine yourself doing something similar. I would definitely prefer to read the book than do the virtual reality, because I like using my imagination (sometimes too much) to create the scene and the characters in my head. For example, I enjoyed 'Angels and Demons' and 'The Da Vinci Code', but Tom Hanks was definitely NOT who I pictured for Robert Langdon. I fell asleep right away, because I thought he was too annoying. Moreover, I couldn't handle "Gandalf" as Sir Teabing. Wasn't Teabing supposed to be short and portly, or was that just the character I created? Anyway, I do not think that virtual reality would be as satisfying, and I'm not sure how well I would fair with that thing on my head. Although, it could be amusing for something that would be completely unrealistic for me to do like snowboard a half-pipe, but I think I've played an arcade game like that already and it was pretty lame.

Adam said...

Wouldn't it be something though if you could make your imagination a reality for others through the use of Virtual Reality?

I have a plethora of ideas and stories packed into my head down to every miniscule detail. I have a number of descriptions prepared for the characters and such, but I don't have any way to show you just how I see them. Written descriptions can only go so far, and I can't draw anything better than a crude stick figure, so there's little way for me to get the exact image across to you.

Then again, what if it were possible with technology for me to show you the exact image I have in my head? Wouldn't that take away from your imaginative creativity? It would be exactly how I see it and nothing more. Where does that leave you? You wouldn't even have to think about it. If you don't have to think about things or be creative, then you gradually become the opposite (read the novel Feed by M.T. Anderson). I wouldn't want that to happen...