Science Michael Heim Virtual Realism

ISBN 13: 9780195138740

Virtual Realism

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9780195138740: Virtual Realism

Virtual reality has introduced what is literally a new dimension of reality to daily life. But it is not without controversy. Indeed, some say that a collision is inevitable between those passionately involved in the computer industry and those increasingly alienated from (and often replaced by) its applications. Opinions range from the cyberpunk attitude of Wired magazine and Bill Gates's commercial optimism to the violent opposition of the Unabomber. Now, with Virtual Realism, readers have a thought-provoking guide to the "cyberspace backlash" debate and the implications of cyberspace for our culture.

Michael Heim offers a comprehensive introduction to virtual reality and a provocative commentary on its present and future impact on our lives. Heim describes the fascinating and important industrial and military uses of virtual reality, as well as its artistic and entertainment applications. He argues that we must balance the idealist's enthusiasm for computerized life with the need to ground ourselves more deeply in primary reality. This "uneasy balance" he calls virtual realism.

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Review:

What's commonly described as "virtual reality" or "VR" is a pale imitation of the real thing according to Michael Heim. But the real thing, he declares, is fast approaching. We'll soon be able to totally immerse ourselves in detail-rich, highly interactive artificial worlds. This scares some, but Heim explores our ability to merge VR capabilities into the human experience in very positive ways--without falling prey to technological pollyannaism. Virtual Realism offers a fascinating exploration of the technological and artistic sides of VR and offers some exciting challenges to old assumptions about where nature ends and cyberspace begins.

About the Author:


Michael Heim is the author of the award winning The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality and the ground breaking Electric Language.

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Virtual Realism is an art form and a way of living with technology. To explain it, Michael Heim draws on a hypertext of topics, from answering machines to interactive art, from engineering to television programmes, from the meaning of UFOs to the Internet. The technology of virtual reality brought a new dimension to culture with its virtual offices and cyberspace friendships - but few agree on its merits. Opinions range from the Unabomber s Luddite activism to Wired s cyberpunk attitude to Bill Gate s commercial optimism. Virtual Realism guides readers through the debate and suggests ways of harmonizing computers with culture. Exploring a wide-range of virtual reality technologies, from a tour of a virtual art gallery to the heads-up-displays used by military pilots, Michael Heim shares the discoveries he has made over several years in the studios of VR designers. Always suggesting a harmony of technology with lifestyle, the result is an illuminating look at the meaning and value of human life in the age of cyberculture. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195138740

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