Will virtual reality be the next great addiction?

I haven't tried virtual reality yet, but I've been doing some research on the matter. While it does sound like it would be fun to give it a try, there are some that are concerned that this type of Technology will become the next great addictive fix. I think we can all agree that many people are addicted to technology in the form of smartphones, computers, video games and so on. Is virtual reality simply another means to keep seeking after that dopamine hit we all like so much?

I also think we all get it that we all like when we feel good. When we're not dealing with immense pain or suffering or the existential angst that comes with simply Being Human. I think technology can be wonderful in so many ways, and help decrease or alleviate suffering on some levels. At the same time, many things can become addictive, so I think at the very root, addiction and more specifically the disease of addiction, must continue to be taught to students and to the population at whole. 

Whether it's putting on the virtual reality glasses for a wondrous trip through a different country or eating that amazing succulent dessert or rocking out to your favorite song, balance is key. There's nothing wrong with wanting to feel good. We should feel good. But not at the expense of addiction, because that will send you spiraling, never ever having enough.

On a good  note, found this at Men's Journal on the topic: "VR equipment is beginning to infiltrate hospitals and health clinics, helping patients to manage pain and anxiety and address phobias and depression. Early adopters are using VR software at home for therapy, guided meditation, and workouts that feel more like gaming than exercise."

I think using it to help with pain is wonderful, and can help people from becoming addicted to opiates.

What are your thoughts on virtual reality? Have you given it a try?
  • 10 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • Oh, I have no doubt that VR will put its hooks in a lot of people and not let go. I've never tried it, either, but based on how addicted people have gotten to other forms of technology, it seems like VR would be no different. I also wonder if VR and porn will team up to create yet another evil monster that people can't escape from. *sigh*
  • @DeanD ; i'm sure it will, and i think already in the plans.... hoping for far more positive to come out of it than negative...
  • Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but porn is already on the VR market (no link for obvious reasons). It shouldn't be surprising. The first image on the internet was of women Source:https://gizmodo.com/5924748/heres-the-first-picture-ever-posted-on-the-internet (It's true!) and porn has been a driver for technology every since people realized they could use a recording device to capture naked people.

    I also concur that VR has great power. But, "with great power comes great responsibility" - Uncle Ben. It has the power to transform and enrich lives. It also has the power to consume and destroy them. Obviously, the difference will come down to individuals, since the power of The Market will simply follow where the money is. People don't need VR to throw away their lives either, example: http://www.pcgamer.com/man-sues-bethesda-over-fallout-4-addiction/ as well as some posts in this board. I have over 300 hours in Fallout 4, and I can say it can definitely be addicting. Oh, and there are plans to release a VR version (https://www.cnet.com/news/fallout-4-doom-bethesda-vr-e3-2016/) Wow, I am a linking machine!

    I haven't gotten on the VR bandwagon since I always stay away from the 1st generation of tech releases (as an electrical engineer, I know how terrible the first release of tech is...) and right now it all seems gimmicky. But, as it progresses, gets more accessible, reliable, and sophisticated, it might be a major revolution in many walks of life. Or, it will fizzle out as gimmicky, like the 3d TV craze that launched and failed a few years ago.
  • @Leaker ; virtual reality.... seems like a safer escape than alcohol or drugs... still, anything addictive can rob so much from people.

    that lady was talking about the "epic defeat" moment gamers love... that feeling of excitement and fear at the same time just when you realize oh my god, i'm gonna win this/beat him/etc. she said people are so much more confident in the games, yet in real life they lose it.... it was such a good tedtalk really, and gives me hope that all of you who save the universe and us from really bad guys in the game world, are somehow contributing to the rising of global consciousness.... and that's pretty sweet.
  • @dominica, there is certainly the fantastic feeling of beating a challenge, or seeing one's name at the top of the leader board at the end of a match. It was always great for me to be on the comms with a gaming group on Friday, working together, playing hard. I'm making good decisions, I'm in the right spots. The game is close, and then, I'm in the right place at the right time, I do the right thing, and we win with a second left, and there's Leaker at the top of the scoreboards. It's a rush, and I concur with that "epic moment" feeling. It might be a safer escape, and a more natural rush, but as noted, there is such a thing as too much, and there are a lot of negative mental and physical things that too much gaming can cause.

    We are all different people behind the keyboard. Supposed anonymity+audience=new personality. It's easy to be confident in games too. They are all based on rules and formulas, and despite the random number generators, or playing with other humans, if one learns those rules, they can become the master of that realm. In real life, there are so many more random number generators, people, and no restarts, so it is something that can't be mastered, and I think that can cause people to shut the real world out. There's no, "oops, I got addicted to heroin, better reload to 6 months ago when I wasn't broke and suffering from heart failure". That takes facing hard realities, as opposed to a virtual world one is the master of.

    And I would say that in some way the gaming community, when used properly, can help the global community. Sure, there is the 12 year old kid smoking pot and yelling racial slurs into the microphone, but the gaming groups I have been a part of are people from all walks of life from all over the world. We all play well, so there is mutual respect, and that leads to conversations about life and the world. Maybe not an earnest debate about the value of religion, but someone shares a story about a local law, or their process for getting a permit for something, and we all learn a little more about how others' daily lives are.
  • So, internet sin of a double tap, but I watched the TED talk video. Concur, it was a good talk, as are a lot of the TED talks. It was also good to see that what I wrote above mostly aligns with what she was talking about, so I am not completely off-base in this particular subject.

    My big criticism (because I have to criticize, right?) is she spoke about the gaming community, but focused on the WoW community. What she said about the 4 pillars might be true, but not across the whole of gaming. There are plenty of gamers that spend 40 hours a week playing, and all they learn is to shoot people without using a scope, while jumping and turning. The problem solving runs as deep as, "How do I get that camping SOB sniper?" And there are a lot of gamers that are incredibly knowledgeable about their gaming world, and they put tons of time and thought into it, but that doesn't mean one can tap that into the real world. After all, there are a lot of people really passionate about cars, and one can say a lot of the same things about car hobbyists as she said about gamers, but that doesn't translate into a useful resource. I think people spend the time in game worlds because it is interesting and fun (or an addiction). Figuring out the optimal pathing to gather wolf pelts in the current patch is fun, figuring out how to optimize farming for sub-Saharan African countries is depressing. For example.

    She mentioned people want to be the hero, and why can't we make people heroes in real life? Well, in WoW, you can be 7 ft tall, green, with a cool set of armor that bleeds smoke and fire, and an ax the size of your whole body. In real life, even if you optimize the corn rotation, you are still not going to grown an extra inch, or put on an ounce of muscle from that achievement. So, I think it is a noble goal, but she might be reaching a little too far with a lot of aspirations. However, I'm not going to say it will never work; if it does, fantastic! And, if I can save the world from my keyboard, I am all for that one!
  • @Leaker ; haha. let's all do our part in saving the world from our keyboards!

    i am clueless about the gaming world.... but i do appreciate those who study it and well, try to bring us the optimism we all need.... 

    i love tedtalks. they are usually so interesting and inspiring.
  • @dominica Yeah, I wonder how they find these people for the talks. They are from all walks of life and such varied experiences. All the ones I have watched have been presented by such great public speakers. The way they deliver their message, be it about addiction, technology, or just human interaction draws the person in, even if I have to be Leaker and not agree with them.

    The gaming world is an interesting place. It does have its pitfalls though. I've mentioned the stoners and people spouting racial and homophobic slurs (gotta have thick skin to be on a headset. Sorry), and there are terrible people that do terrible things (SWATing...). But, there is also amazing beauty and limitless potential. I guess in those regards it is a lot like the real world.
  • @Leaker totally like the real world.... i find it helps me to be unattached to words in general.... good or negative...

    i think people actually apply to be a tedtalker.... and yes, they are fantastic.... all sorts of people and inspiring!
  • I know this post is from last year but may I input on it?
    I consider myself a gamer. I played of types of games. Even the one linked above Fallout 4 with the all the ones that came before and after. I currently play a game called Blade And Soul, which is an online game.
    But I am amazed that there this blog has no mention of the classical game released on October 27, 2009, and has so many articles linking this game with dopamine and addiction that is impossible not to know about it in the gaming world. It's name is League of Legend. I will link three sites. Ones is about a person with personal experience talking about his addiction and "why he had to admit as an addiction", the second one is of a blogger that analyzes the game an why is so addicting. And third one if an official article realeased by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology information) talking about if gaming is really and addiction and listing League of Legends one of the primary examples.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/6m6j0f/a_personal_struggle_with_a_league_of_legends/

    https://medium.com/@wilson97_82892/why-is-league-of-legends-so-addicting-22ae7c044153

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5410811/
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