Student Voice: Is it virtual reality or fatal fantasy?

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Student Voice: Is it virtual reality or fatal fantasy?

Sony announced the release date of its latest PlayStation Virtual Reality for October 2016, which is more reasonably priced at $399 compared to the HTC Vive at $799, and the Oculus Rift at $599.

“Discover a new world of unexpected gaming experiences with PlayStation VR,” the PlayStation website said. “Redefine your expectations of immersion in gaming with moments so intense your intuition takes over.

“Step into incredible virtual worlds and overcome new challenges in extraordinary ways. Greatness awaits with PlayStation VR.”

While a majority of gamers are ecstatic about the latest VR gaming technology, which includes a headset and camera, other gamers who haven’t yet experienced VR are slower in adopting this new product.

For those experiencing the awesome world of virtual reality for the first time, they should be aware that they may also experience motion sickness, nausea, disorientation and blurred vision.

Kimberly Voll, senior technical designer at Radial Games, expressed her concerns.

“We really need to look hard at the effects of long-term exposure to VR, the psychological effects and what we can say about the power of our VR experiences,” Voll said.

It’s no joke that VR technology gives you an unforgettable experience, but what impact does VR really have on the body and mind?

“It starts to feel like it’s real stuff around you, and your brain starts to believe that it’s real,” said Dr. Richard Marks, senior researcher and head of PlayStation Magic Lab at Sony Computer Entertainment.

The bigger question is this: how long should gamers allow their minds to live in a fantasy world?

Without getting into the complex argument of whether or not Christians should play video games, I believe the danger of continually putting yourself in a nonexistent world is very real.

We don’t give video games the credit they deserve for possessing an unusual power.

The human mind is very visual, and images can evoke certain emotions within us.

Whether that emotion is joy, sadness, excitement, fear or anger, VR games have the special ability to make us feel how they want us to feel.

This emotion-evoking experience is attractive and potentially addictive. This addiction is ultimately an idol that the gamer worships and serves, placing its importance above real-life responsibilities and relationships.

As Christians, we are commanded that absolutely nothing should come before God in our hearts.

Also, gamers develop an unhealthy emotional attachment with imaginary characters through role-playing. This causes the person to feel more connected with the virtual version of himself and less content with his true self.

I believe that the biggest danger of video games, especially with the newly designed VR, is the lack of personal interaction it encourages.

When playing their game, most people don’t want to be interrupted. “Just one more level” is a commonly heard phrase.

But one more level eventually turns into one more ignored phone call, skipped lunch date and missed family time.

What was once the source of fun will soon be the cause of sleep deprivation, stress, depression and seclusion.

While gaming can be a fun way to relax and enjoy some downtime, it should be done in moderation.

I believe freeing your mind to wander around in a fantasy world is dangerous.

Gamers allow themselves to enjoy the nonconsequential life of being a character while ignoring the very consequential life around them.

Why focus your attention on a world where nothing truly matters when you could make a positive difference in someone’s (or your own) life?