Virtual Reality is something that I love the idea of. As a Sci-fi fan I have always been interested in the idea of virtual reality. And we are coming closer and closer to it. However, moving past Star Treks Holodecks, many people have also looked at the possibility and how it could have everlasting effects on humanity and how we interact with each other.

Here is a list of movies that all feature the concept of Virtual Reality: http://www.allmovie.com/characteristic/theme/virtual-reality-d573

One on here I really want to talk about, primarily because it is considered one of MANY, MANY movies the Matrix was influenced by, is Existenz.

Existenz’s whole premise is that you have no idea whether you are still in the game, or actually in reality. The Virtual reality is so real that you can’t differentiate between it and real life, which leads to dramatic consequences.

We are constantly trying to improve virtual reality, particularly for video-games, but could making something as violent as Grand Theft Auto so realistic and immersive cause people to become warped and begin to reenact the games events in reality, or even believe they are still in the game so damn all consequences to hell?

(I would like to make incredibly clear at this point, that I believe that the notion of Video Games causing violence in people to be absolute stupidity, but that is a rant that would completely take me off topic so will be avoided in this post. What I will say is, if you are stupid enough to ignore the 18+ warning on a video game and give it to a 12 year old, and then blame the game that was not intended for his young, still in formative years, brain, for any behaviour he shows that could be considered influenced by said game, then perhaps you shouldn’t of been allowed to create a child)

The 2009 film Surrogates (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0986263/) deals to an extent with Virtual reality but in a different format.

Surrogates is:

‘Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others’ surrogates.’

The movie basically comes to the conclusion at the end that (spoilers) humanities lack of real interaction was a negative step to far, and that we had become overly immersed in the use of robots that we neglected our real bodies.

Surrogates is similar to an Anime series and movie called Ghost In the Shell (the series is amazing, the movies are a little weird) which also happens to be another series/ movie that The Matrix was heavily influenced by (seriously, what wasn’t the Matrix influenced by?)

Ghost In the Shell also has people living through robot bodies, except they actually have there brain/ consciousness transferred into the body. There is no real body on the other end controlling the robot, the person is the robot. There is the option for them to keep a real body and could control a robot wirelessly probably, but it’s not commonly done. What we see in Ghost In the Shell is a level of separation between people with Cyber Bodies and those who have chosen to remain human. There is not massive amount of discrimination but there are undertones of it under the surface, and there are references to religions that don’t allow the use of cybernetics (not even partial cybernetics). It also opened the door to an entirely new kind of criminal activity that had to be combatted in different ways. Cyber Terrorism became an everyday occurrence (though that part we really are closer to in this day and age)

If we did develop to the point of having purely cybernetic bodies, would it be reserved only for people who could afford it? At which point, would we live in a awfully classist society where if you didn’t have a superior Cybernetic body, you were at the bottom of the pecking order for all things, like jobs, partners etc.?

It’s basically the concept of futuristic Eugenics.

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