VR tech has arrived in the mainstream of the tech world with heavy weight brands staking their claim in the space. The idea of virtual porn seems to have many interested in the revenue opportunities possible in addition to gaming.
Should the renaissance of VR be a wake up call? The Guardian article highlights observations of the "delights and dangers of the video game medium: onanistic action, vivid fantasy and the final, endorphin-soaked neurological climax.
Research by people such as Sherry Turkle already point to our preference as humans to turn to robots for interactions. Douglas Rushkoff's latest book, "Throwing rocks at the Google bus" suggests humans will be automated out of the economy should the current path continue.
Rushkoff makes some great points around how we 'just' digitise current models and fail to truly reinvent our ways of working (a pattern set out in the industrialisaiton age).
So in my mind, VR should be a wake up call for us. It is another amazing example of human ingenuity. And it looks as if we will choose to apply it to further ourselves from our own humanity, encouraged by companies marketing companies like Facebook and Google who want our data.
Virtual reality, like every other television, computer and smartphone screen that already lights up our lives, is a window through which knowledge, transformation, empathy and wonder can be delivered (as well as every one of their ugly antonyms). The aesthetic of total enclosure inside a screen-laced helmet makes freshly clear the risks of screen reliance, the power of soul-distracting illusions, which have the capacity to nourish and redeem, and to make us puerile and dependent.