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October 13. 2019: Real life versus Virtual Realty

When something call virtual reality exists, it drives us to then question what makes something "real life" ? The obvious thing that comes to mind is that in real life, there are physical things that you can touch. These things that make up real life have some sort of mass and are made of atoms. In VR games such as Second Life, if your character touches a dog, you are not really touching a dog. In this kind of VR game, the actions that take place are happening because of digital signals being sent between the technologies involved.[1]

Nowadays technology has become so advanced that things that happen in virtual reality can feel so real that it feels like it is actually happening to you. People that engage with virtual reality games respond emotionally whenever something happens to their characters whether it is something good or bad. [2]In the documentary You Only Live Twice: Virtual Reality Meets Real World in Second Life, they showed someone feeling proud when they recieved a compliment from another play and felt bad when they made a mistake in the game. This feeling of taking things personally would explain why the wife of Ric Hoogestraat feels that his relationship with his online wife to be inappropriate. Even though he is not physically involved with his internet wife, the emotions that he feels may be more real than he may realize.

The advances in how the internet is utilized is the perfect example of being digital. The future of the internet that Negroponte spoke of is starting to come true. The internet, which started out as a just a library of information, has turned into an outlet were people can carry one social interactions with people whether they know them in real life or not with the help of features such as video chat and social networking cites [3]People are no longer stuck to face to face conversation. Now people have access to people from all over the world and can share their interests with others.