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“Enough with speculation about our digital future. Infinite Reality is the straight dope on what is and isn’t happening to us right now, from two of the only scientists working on the boundaries between real life and its virtual extensions.”—Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed
How achievable are the virtual experiences seen in The Matrix, Tron, and James Cameron’s Avatar? Do our brains know where “reality” ends and “virtual” begins? In Infinite Reality, Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson, two pioneering experts in the field of virtual reality, reveal how the human brain behaves in virtual environments and examine where radical new developments in digital technology will lead us in five, fifty, and five hundred years.
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About the Author
Jim Blascovich is the director and co-founder of the Research Center for Virtual Environments at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is Distinguished Professor of Psychology. Professor Blascovich has served as the president of international scientific societies, including the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, and he has been invited to lecture on social neuroscience and virtual reality topics worldwide.
Jeremy Bailenson is the founding director of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Professor Bailenson has been featured on Frontline, All Things Considered, and Today, and in Time, Discover, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Science, Health, World, and Style sections of the New York Times, as well as in the New York Times Magazine.
Table of Contents
1 Dream Machines 9
2 A Museum of Virtual Meadia 24
3 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall 37
4 Winning Virtual Friends and Influencing Virtual People 65
5 The Virtual Laboratory 83
6 Who Am I? 95
7 Re-creating Yourself 109
8 Street Smarts 122
9 Eternal Life 138
10 Digital Footprints 154
11 The Virtual "Jones" 169
12 Virtually Usefull 191
13 Virtual Yin and Yang 227
14 More Human Than Human 256