Thursday, April 17, 2008
I thought the seminar was interesting because even after reading the articles, which speak of how virtual reality can be used for very positive things like developing mastery of something, many people slipped back into stereotyping the average VR participant as unsuccessful in real life. I started to think about why many people think of the average VR participant in this way. Looking through the evolutionary/survival lens, I would hypothesize that many people who consider themselves successful in real life would benefit by stigmatizing any participant, i.e. by making the participants' mode of communication invalid by labeling it "not real." Labeling VR participants' mode of communication as invalid would benefit the non-participant by reinforcing the "realness" or validity of their own lives. Many non-participants essentially create the anthropological "Other" out of VR participants.