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Proceedings Paper

Virtual reality and hallucination: a technoetic perspective
Author(s): Diana Reed Slattery
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Paper Abstract

Virtual Reality (VR), especially in a technologically focused discourse, is defined by a class of hardware and software, among them head-mounted displays (HMDs), navigation and pointing devices; and stereoscopic imaging. This presentation examines the experiential aspect of VR. Putting "virtual" in front of "reality" modifies the ontological status of a class of experience-that of "reality." Reality has also been modified [by artists, new media theorists, technologists and philosophers] as augmented, mixed, simulated, artificial, layered, and enhanced. Modifications of reality are closely tied to modifications of perception. Media theorist Roy Ascott creates a model of three "VR's": Verifiable Reality, Virtual Reality, and Vegetal (entheogenically induced) Reality. The ways in which we shift our perceptual assumptions, create and verify illusions, and enter "the willing suspension of disbelief" that allows us entry into imaginal worlds is central to the experience of VR worlds, whether those worlds are explicitly representational (robotic manipulations by VR) or explicitly imaginal (VR artistic creations). The early rhetoric surrounding VR was interwoven with psychedelics, a perception amplified by Timothy Leary's presence on the historic SIGGRAPH panel, and the Wall Street Journal's tag of VR as "electronic LSD." This paper discusses the connections-philosophical, social-historical, and psychological-perceptual between these two domains.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 February 2008
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6804, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2008, 680407 (22 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.772650
Show Author Affiliations
Diana Reed Slattery, DomeWorks (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6804:
The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2008
Ian E. McDowall; Margaret Dolinsky, Editor(s)

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