For my final essay on the topic of a disruptive technology I have chosen to focus my research on the advancement of virtual reality and how it will affect the way different people must change their lives to accommodate this change. This technology while relatively new, has seen a large rise within the video gaming community. Currently one of the most popular VR headsets would have to be the new Sony head set which has sold over one million units within the first six months. The VR market is projected to have sales reach 70 billion by 2020. Some challenges; however, that stand in the way from a societal VR acceptance have to do with the potential ethical violations that the technology can potentially cross and/or promote people to do so. One of the largest debates in VR has to do with who can create content for VR and what are they allowed to create? This is a very tricky situation, for it is important that VR be allowed to be used by many people, hence there being a need for many different types of virtual realities to be created. Some people call for an overall freedom of use such as the ability to post any content they desire, while others wish for a more regulated posting system such as youtube where there are a certain set of rules a poster must abide by. Although what probably makes the most sense would just to have the VR posting ability exclusive to certain production companies that will create quality and safe content for all kinds of people. When looking at this technology it is easy to see all the different kinds of positive affects that it could have on people, for example VR allows for people who either have mobility issues or the inability to spend money to travel to far away places to virtually transport themselves though virtual reality. To give someone with out the ability to walk since birth the sensation of running would alone be a great reason to promote the innovation and production of virtual reality.
While it proved difficult to find many scholarly articles on the topic of VR considering how new of a technology it is, I did however find two interesting articles relating to technologies affect of children and growing adolescents. In the first article, Virtual Reality and “Virtual Welters”: A Note on the Commerce Clause Implications of Regulating Cyberporn by Glenn Harlan Reynolds, it discusses the impact of certain laws that target certain obscenities such as internet porn. It also discusses that complying with state obscenity standards could be taxing enough to force these companies to often try producing many more films under the table (lacking regulations). One very interesting concept that this article also discusses involves the First Amendment doctrine and how it calls for the freedom of speech, which can be applied to this industry. The reason I chose this article had to do with a deep concern that many people have about VR pertaining to the increased used and illegality of cyber porn. Hopefully with the rise of VR there will not have to be a task force to ensure that certain industries such as this one do not get any wrong ideas and feel as if they can go above the law.
This next article, Virtual Reality and Social Skills Training for Students with Behavioral Disorders: Applications, Challenges and Promising Practices, by Howard S. Muscott and Timothy Gifford, describes the intricate details of virtual reality (VR) technology and discusses how it has many potential applications to aid in the teaching of social skills to many different kind of children and young adults the have behavior disorders. This behavioral teaching is taught by using many interactive role plays that help the patients practice and learn in a safe space. However, due to limitations of the current status of VR and certain difficulties inherent by modeling human behavioral simulations this research has hit a few snags. This article was very helpful for me what writing about how VR impacts the lives of children at home and at school.
Muscott, Howard S., and Timothy Gifford. Virtual Reality and Social Skills Training for Students with Behavioral Disorders: Applications, Challenges and Promising Practices 17.4 (1994): 417-44. JSTOR [JSTOR]. Web.
Reynolds, Glenn Harlan. “Virtual Reality and “Virtual Welters”: A Note on the Commerce Clause Implications of Regulating Cyberporn.” Virginia Law Review 82.3 (1996): 535. Web.