August 12, 2022

Users See Virtual Reality as Real Life

By: Claudia Davis

Believe it or not, today’s society has created a way to practically clone yourself online. A concept I did not know really existed before Wednesday’s class with guest speaker, Donna Davis,quickly became my own reality. Davis had asked in class if any of us had a “Bitmoji”, which in simple terms is a literal avatar designed to look like its creator that can be linked to various social media platforms to essentially act as they would in real life. Many of us did not understand up until that point that we too were “somewhat” users of virtual reality, just without the fancy virtual goggles. Beyond the surface, Dr. Davis explained that virtual reality is not solely used for entertainment. The immersive experience has made people realize VR could revolutionize the sex industry. Working with people that have physical disabilities, Davis has learned first hand that what seems to be a virtual reality to most is an actual reality for those who cannot experience a normal one. While many people see VR as simply an opportunity to see their favourite videos in unprecedented fashion, its power is so much greater than that. One thing Davis had mentioned in particular is that virtual reality can benefit people with Parkinson’s Disease because it allows them to feel that their bodies function “normally”.

People with physical impairments are often treated differently in society, even though their brain functions like a completely healthy human’s brain would. Dr. Davis was able to share with our class that it is an escape mechanism for the impaired. Virtual reality allows them to be “seen” by themselves and by others as a normally functioning person. Using virtual worlds, such as Second Life, people are able to feel a sense of normalcy in a world that allows them to be just like everyone else. With over 500,000 users, Second Life is a much bigger community than any of us could have imagined. Davis was able to share with us how her avatar socializes with others and we even got to be a part of a concert being performed by an avatar, but with the actual voice of his creator. Seems almost too real to be virtual, right?

No matter how big a hater of gaming advances I may be, this one has many positive uses. The fact that virtual reality has been able to give those with physical disabilities a sense of normal reality is simply amazing. Advancements of virtual reality will hopefully be able to aid even more to the medical field in the future.

Virtual reality can be a scary idea for those who do not understand its purpose, however, many of us who questioned virtual reality do not face the struggles of not having a normal reality. It is crazy to think that a form of gaming technology made for people to escape reality has become a normal reality to those who cannot experience one in real life. The rise of virtual reality in many industries other than just gaming is going to be huge in the future, making sites like eventually need virtual reality categories.


Instagram: @claudiaadavis

Twitter: @claud_nug

4 thoughts on “Users See Virtual Reality as Real Life

  1. Great post! I was amazed by this presentation by Donna Davis and by virtual reality in itself! It is such an interesting invention that many of us use on a daily basis without realizing it. I never thought of my Bitmoji as my personal avatar, but the points that Donna Davis brought up made me really think about all social media and digital platforms that I use. The concept that virtual reality can help people with disabilities feel more welcome in society is so inspiring to me. It is amazing that technology has made it possible for people with disabilities to show the world that even if they are physically impaired their minds work the same as everyone else’s. I agree that virtual reality will quickly advance the medical field more than we ever thought was possible.

  2. Great Post! I really enjoyed reading it. I was also really amazed by Donna Davis’s presentation on Virtual Reality. I have always thought virtual reality was a little weird and thought it could be unhealthy for people to get addicted to it. But after listing to her presentation, I know understand how VR can be used in the medical field and help people who are having trouble being accepted and treated equally have a place to escape where they are treated like equals. It is kind of amazing to think about!

  3. I agree with you that virtual reality contains many components of improving life and offering new features to people, however I always find myself weary of a VR takeover. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen too many Black Mirror episodes, but I always try and think of VR as an aid for those who need it rather than a complete method for changing the way we live. Sure, eventually it will become more seamlessly integrated with daily life, I just think there is a special connection between organic human relationships that VR cannot reproduce for everyone. Very well written article, and I also enjoyed Donna Davis’s presentation too! I wonder what the future of VR will look like…

  4. Great post! I was absolutely blown away by Donna Davis’ presentation and told everyone about it for days. I was really inspired by the concept that VR can help people with Parkinson’s Disease feel that their bodies function “normally.” I am definitely excited to continue to watch this technology advance and see how it will change the lives of even more people down the road.

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