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Proceedings Paper

Ontological implications of being in immersive virtual environments
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Paper Abstract

The idea of Virtual Reality once conjured up visions of new territories to explore, and expectations of awaiting worlds of wonder. VR has matured to become a practical tool for therapy, medicine and commercial interests, yet artists, in particular, continue to expand the possibilities for the medium. Artistic virtual environments created over the past two decades probe the phenomenological nature of these virtual environments. When we inhabit a fully immersive virtual environment, we have entered into a new form of Being. Not only does our body continue to exist in the real, physical world, we are also embodied within the virtual by means of technology that translates our bodied actions into interactions with the virtual environment. Very few states in human existence allow this bifurcation of our Being, where we can exist simultaneously in two spaces at once, with the possible exception of meta-physical states such as shamanistic trance and out-of-body experiences. This paper discusses the nature of this simultaneous Being, how we enter the virtual space, what forms of persona we can don there, what forms of spaces we can inhabit, and what type of wondrous experiences we can both hope for and expect.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 February 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6804, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2008, 680408 (8 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.778617
Show Author Affiliations
Jacquelyn Ford Morie, Univ. of Southern California (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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