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Discusses the technical development of virtual reality and explains its present uses and future possibilities
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Gr. 7^-12. "How lifelike does an experience have to be to be considered virtually real?" As readers of this fine book will find out, there is considerable disagreement. Weiss pulls you right in with a description of a boy with cerebral palsy learning through virtual reality (VR) what it's like to ride in his wheelchair over different kinds of surfaces and around a neighborhood. She then shows how art (beginning with prehistoric cave art), drama, music, storytelling, etc., are means that people have used over time to create new realities. But the heart of her account is the discussion of the development of VR, its many possible uses, and its problems (i.e., Does VR promote violence?). She laments the fact that more research and development are going into the highly profitable entertainment industry and the military rather than medicine and education. What it all comes down to is that Weiss imparts a definite sense of wonder about what has been accomplished and what may occur in the future as well as a sense of foreboding about what could happen if the technology is misused--for example, the use of VR to treat a phobia versus the use of VR for mind control purposes. Although the binding is uncomfortably tight, the format, including the full-color jacket and scattered illustrations, is attractive, and Weiss' lively, thought-provoking presentation will keep YAs eagerly turning the pages. Documentation; bibliography. Sally EstesFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 6 Up?An informative and thought-provoking offering. Grounding virtual reality in the history of storytelling and computers, Weiss catalogs the necessary equipment for full or partial VR experiences. She explores the many beneficial uses of VR, such as visualizing the stock market or enabling stroke victims to communicate. She then clearly demonstrates how VR development is driven primarily by applications designed solely for entertainment. One of the book's strengths is its positive and negative presentation of each application of VR, e.g., assisting police in reconstructing crime scenes and swaying juries using a subjective view of events. Unfamiliar terms are defined in context; a full-color photograph introduces each of the seven chapters. With many references to Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, the last chapter focuses on the Internet, virtual communities, and privacy issues and governmental control. Weiss overstates the effect of Internet communication on former House Speaker Thomas Foley's re-election bid, and one can detect her misgivings about entertainment VR. However, the text's strengths far outweigh its minor problems. This title is useful and interesting for both reports and general reading.?Shannon VanHemert, Memphis/
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description 21st Century, 1997. Library Binding. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0805037225
Book Description 21st Century. LIBRARY BINDING. Condition: New. 0805037225 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.2020966