Welcome to the future ...Advances in our understanding of how the brain works, combined with the explosion of immersive digital technology, are revolutionizing our lives in ways most of us can't imagine. A proposition as far-fetched as total 'personality downloads' will soon be possible-meaning our great-grandchildren will be able to interact with us in the future in a virtual setting that will be indistinguishable from reality. Whether that prospect is exciting or frightening, it is very real-and may be possible in less than a decade. In "Infinite Reality", Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson - two of Virtual Reality's most prominent and prolific authorities and experts in the fields of cognitive and behavioral psychology - take us on a mind-bending journey through the world of virtual reality, exploring what emerging VR technologies and their applications say about us.
Going beyond science and technology, "Infinite Reality" examines timeless philosophical questions of the self and concerns about the future of personal social interaction; probes our quest for knowledge, new experiences, and deeper perspectives; ponders how virtual reality is simply an extension, unbound, of humanity for better or worse; and, reveals how its latest forms will soon be seamlessly integrated into our lives.
Jim Blascovich is director and co-founder of the Research Center for Virtual Environments at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A distinguished professor and former chair of UCSB's Psychology Department, he has served as the president of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, president of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, and president of the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology. Jeremy Bailenson is founding director of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab.