Live a life of luxury, travel to the far ends of the earth, dial up any experience you can imagine. According to its propenents, including Mr Zuckerberg, a new world of embodied virtual reality is on the way. They claim, our future lives will take place as much in the digital world as in physical world with the potential to give everyone access to experiences currently only available to a few. But critics say this is a nightmare not a utopia. Instead of real relationships, we’ll have virtual ones; instead of nature, we will have a simulation. And who will control it? Meta, you can be sure, has a plan.
Should we ignore the hyperbole and recognise itl as a science fiction fantasy that is simply a marketing device to motivate staff and shareholders? Or is the embodied digital world an inevitable future that we urgently need to prepare for now? Can we harness its potential or is it a trap that threatens to steal all that is vital, namely real life.