Virtual Reality is defined as “an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one’s actions partially determine what happens in the environment” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary. Yet it can seem so realistic that it could pose a danger to one’s safety.
Here’s an example of a Russian guy trying out the roller-coaster experience on an Oculus Rift.
He could have really hurt himself if not for the support from those around him.
I’ve seen tv series and movies from the 70’s where people immerse themselves into virtual worlds and cannot escape unless they achieve a specific goal. If someone externally unplugs them prematurely then they risk damaging the immersed person’s brain. It’s no easier for the person in the immersed world who can suffer heart failure from high levels of stress.
Some examples where VR experiences were harmful to the user:
Virtual Reality in Television: Star Trek The Next Generation: The Game (1990), Star Trek Voyager: The Thaw (1996), Stargate SG1: The Gamekeeper (1997), Avatar (2004), Stargate Atlantis: Aurora (2005), Stargate Universe: Human (2010), Seizure (2011)
With the release of better VR headsets and accessories like the Teslasuit which uses neuro-muscular electrical stimulation that lets you feel your way through the immersive world it may be harder for you to remember that you’re not having an experience in the real world.
When you become a user of Virtual Reality headsets just remember that everything is artificial. Don’t get lost in Virtual Reality. Remember that you can unplug at any time.