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Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution

Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution

Written by Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson

Narrated by John Pruden


Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution

Written by Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson

Narrated by John Pruden

ratings:
4.5/5 (7 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 5, 2011
ISBN:
9780062027153
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

"Enough with speculation about our digital future. Infinite Reality is the straight dope on what is and isn't happening to us right now, from two of the only scientists working on the boundaries between real life and its virtual extensions."
-Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed

How achievable are the virtual experiences seen in The Matrix, Tron, and James Cameron's Avatar? Do our brains know where "reality" ends and "virtual" begins? In Infinite Reality, Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson, two pioneering experts in the field of virtual reality, reveal how the human brain behaves in virtual environments and examine where radical new developments in digital technology will lead us in five, fifty, and five hundred years.

Publisher:
Released:
Apr 5, 2011
ISBN:
9780062027153
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Jim Blascovich is the director and co-founder of the Research Center for Virtual Environments at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is Distinguished Professor of Psychology. Professor Blascovich has served as the president of international scientific societies, including the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, and he has been invited to lecture on social neuroscience and virtual reality topics worldwide.


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What people think about Infinite Reality

4.4
7 ratings / 5 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Interesting interdisciplinary angels (Psychology, sociology, and technology) on social identity
  • (2/5)
    How do people interact in virtual reality? Pretty much as they would in actual reality. There's an underlying assumption in this book that virtual reality sophisticated enough to allow people to walk around inside a virtual world, or out in the real world using some kind of avatar, with all of their senses in tact, is inevitable. This seems an incredibly difficult thing to accomplish, to me. A lot of major breakthroughs in biology, artificial intelligence, and robotics would be needed. Those breakthroughs certainly aren't inevitable, and unless someone has a sudden insight that is the metaphorical equivalent of a Darwinian Finch hitting a Newtonian apple and splashing into an Archimedean bathtub, it won't happen soon. If these advances do happen, well, it would be kind of cool, although I am concerned that individual immortality in virtual worlds could lead to our species extinction in the physical world.
  • (2/5)
    Like a primer about virtual reality for people who've had their head in a virtual bucket for the last twenty five years. ( But some useful info toward the end )
  • (4/5)
    Very general survey of virtual reality's current and expected impact on every aspect of society--social, industrial, medical, legal, educational, sexual, etc. Some interesting tidbits about the technical implementation of VR but no math. Bits of VR jargon are defined.

    Some repetition in the book as certain incidents, studies, and legal cases related to VR are described twice or three times in slightly different contexts, but nothing insufferable.
  • (5/5)
    Really cool book that I managed to discover while watching a Matrix trilogy marathon on tv. I had seen the matrix trilogy several times, and as it was on tv in the background I realized I never truly understood the meaning of how it all ended. I decided to look for a forum with explanations and found a spectacular one for all things Matrix that, after sifting through it, made me appreciate all the ins and outs of the series that I hadn't ever appreciated before. On this site were some highlighted books that were critical to the inspiration of the movie. While Infinite Reality wasn't one of the specific ones listed, it was just a hop, skip, and a jump to find it. In a nutshell, it dives into how our brain works and how the social cues and connections we make daily in grounded reality translate directly into virtual reality, why so many find it so easy to get lost in games, and how the human brain and it's everlasting need to not be alone is the driving force behind more and more using social media, dating sites, and immersive role playing games like Second Life, which is referenced repeatedly throughout the book. Very interesting too are the educational and teaching applications for virtual classrooms, being able to step inside historical battles to better learn from them, and how technology and its increasing ability to render life like images make the same areas of our brain fire off that would if we were experiencing these same situations in grounded reality. Bottom line: when the brain feels it's "real", it's real. Written by two scientists who pioneer in the field, I enjoyed it and was continually saying "wow" as examples of case studies showed just how universally the same we are when put in specific social situations, whether these situations are occurring in virtual reality or in grounded reality. and how because of this, the virtual reality that most feel is too sci-fi to be taken seriously, is actually present now and continually visited as our technology grows more and more immersive.