Even though VR can be used for all these "good"
things mentioned above, it can be harmful to society if VR is not
carefully used. In Richard Epstien's play,
ElderCare VR, he raises some very important issues about the
use of VR. The play is about an old man that is barely clinging
on to life. He is on life support at a hospital. The hospital
has VR technology to allow the patient to experience memory's and emotions
from the past. In this man's case, he is with his wife discussing
why he is not close with one of his sons. He has two sons, twins,
one good and one evil. The evil son in this play happens to be
the one that operates the VR machine and he allows his father to experience
things in VR to make his brother look like the evil one. In the
end, the father is tricked into rewriting his will, among other deceptions,
and giving all his money to the evil son. Now, even though, VR
technology is not as advanced as described in this play, this technology
has to be carefully studied as we continue to research it, just like
with any new technology and society has to prevent this technology
from being abused by "evil" people to take advantage of others.
Another issue is how do people act when they are
in a virtual reality? Are one's ethical values in "real" life
suppose to transfer to the alternate reality? When people are
playing video games with others are they allowed to be manipulative,
deceitful, or just plain mean to others. Maybe it is okay if
they can distinct reality from the unreal, but this idea of being something
that you are not can lead to other things, like virtual sex for example.
Also, if a man and a woman are having "cyber sex" together and
one of them is a man, does that mean that they are gay? Movies like
Lawn Mower Man, also brought up the idea of uses drugs
to enhance the virtual experience. Obviously, this is not the
way this technology should be represented.
VR is a technology that can have harmful effects
on society. Only through new laws an measures will it be used