The whole concept of “reality” has always fascinated me and millions of others. Many moons ago (that’s the generational term for “long ago”), I eagerly gobbled up an evening philosophy class at what is now St. Joseph’s University in my hometown of Philadelphia. The instructor was popular whose late night classes were always packed and whose students, men and women, crowded around his desk after class to continue discussing topics he brought to life, like – well – reality.
In those years, the subject was a philosophical football with which one played for hours and which served as the basis for dissertations. You might have fun with the term because everyone knew what was real and, more importantly, what wasn’t. The term itself has never been questioned.
That was then. Now enter “Virtual Reality” and “Augmented Reality” and all their subtypes. The concepts have infiltrated our language, our television shows, our advertisements, and yes, our lives – like it or not.
Rod Serling, creator of the vintage television series “Twilight Zone”, would find it hard today to create a series that exceeds what our “normal” is becoming. I particularly remember one episode in which a man continually visited a museum to see a particular landscape painting he liked, and in the end evaded the police by walking into the painting and disappearing. We now have the ability to do much the same thing with the right equipment.
Google defines virtual reality as “a computer-generated environment with scenes and objects that appear real, making the user feel like they are immersed in their environment. This environment is perceived through a device called a headset or headset. virtual reality. An aside: At the time, it was not uncommon for young people to have to take certain medications to have a similar experience. A whole series of books by the late anthropologist Carlos Castaneda on the training of shamans, which included stories of ingesting certain herbs and the participant’s “journeys”, sold wildly – some eight million copies – and was published in 17 languages.
But I digress. The bottom line for us to know is that today, right here in 2022, we can step into a fictional “reality” without drugs. You can even buy (expensive) property in the so-called “metaverse”. There is a whole lexicon for virtual reality and its related topics, such as cryptocurrency, which is the digital currency used in virtual reality transactions. I say. You’ve heard too much already. But, kind reader, be patient a little longer as I cleverly incorporate this information into the very concept of reality.
Decades ago, you might never have been able to buy things like artwork and real estate. But now, once in this very present moment, you can buy such things in a virtual world using a non-fungible token (NFT), which is a form of digital currency. (You can read more about these monetary terms on “Investopedia.com”, which gives as clear a description as I’ve seen.) For example, you can buy property in the United States or other countries on Tiliaverse.com, from as low as $200 to over $8,000. The site also provides information on the concept of such a property. In my opinion, this is the game of Monopoly brought to the big screen; but, instead of playing it, you play it.
Finally, we must not forget the proliferation of “reality shows” on television. I think it’s fair to suggest that the term is an oxymoron, as are all other “realities”. The words ‘virtual’ and ‘reality’ cancel each other out, which I think gets us back to basics: either something is ‘real’ or it’s ‘virtual’, but it can’t be both. , which is not the case. saying people can’t believe it’s both (but that’s a whole other area of study, isn’t it?).
The late science fiction writer Philip K. Dick said, “Reality is what, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. I think that’s as good a definition as any for the concept, which doesn’t mean you can’t have fun stretching it along the way. Do not pass “Go” and collect $200. LOL.
Sandra Matuschka of Tiverton is a freelance writer and columnist. Send your comments and suggestions to email@example.com or c/o The Newport Daily News, PO Box 420, Newport, RI 02840.