This NWN guest post is by Arim Cresim, a freelance writer of several published books, assistant archivist at a TV station, and author of several essays. He is currently working on a screen play. (Connect with him on Ello.)
When you think of the word "virtual", you’re most likely thinking of the latest in video games or of very conceptually daring movies like The Matrix and Inception. But, even virtual reality isn’t restricted to these categories.
Over the course of recent years, there have been many breakthroughs in virtual reality advancement:
There is a EEG headset from Emotiv that someone has used to "walk" through virtual reality . They think of walking, turning, and stopping. And their avatar does it. Seeing through the VR headset of the Oculus Rift is another prime example, however nauseating it may still be to use .
There is TMS technology to induce electrical currents in the brain by way of non-invasive magnetic fields. Currently, it can be used to reduce neuropathic pain . But, it can also potentially form motor sensation on a neural level or stimulate the pleasure center.
There is medical work with microchips implanted in a person's brain to control limbs under a project called Neurobridge . In the future, this could be more than just a cure to paralysis: It could also become the ultimate man-machine interface.
Some people are even going so far as working on representative avatars to live on past life as we know it. A professor by the name of Hiroshi Ishiguro has been developing a android copy of himself, intended to be a experiment in exhibiting human behavior . There is BINA48, a robotic mimic of a real person .
And there is the whole field of mind uploading, proven as theoretically plausible by Bina and Martine Rothblatt: The very controversially regarded creators of BINA48, and co-founders of the transhumanist Terasm Movement. Under Lifenaut, they have underway a entire database dedicated to mindfiles and biofiles . Though, transhumanists such as Natasha Vita-More and K. Eric Drexler were around from as far back as the 1980’s .
Looking forward to the future…we already have the technology at our disposal to make entire virtual worlds very much like our own world: