|VIRTUAL REALITY AND VIRTUAL WORLDS|
Virtual Worlds are by no means new. Whenever you "bury your nose in a book" (to quote my mother) or get engrossed in a movie, you are "living" in a Virtual World. The story of virtual reality is simply the story of the development of virtual worlds which are more and more accurate simulations of the real world. Such a progression does not necessarily imply progress. Some people some of the time prefer the book to the movie since they can get more immersed by creating their own movies in their minds.
Flashback. As a child growing up in a small village in Scotland, I was very impressed by Johnny Manders, who ran the local cinema single-handed. Johnny would stand out in the street as a barker. Roll up, roll up, only a few seats left! When he lured in some customers, he would interrupt his spiel to be ticket collector and usher. After capturing a large enough audience, he would become the film projectionist. The movie would be interrupted halfway through while he sold popcorn and soft drinks. (It always seemed to stop at an exciting part but now I realise that there was only one projector and it was necessary to change reels.) After the audience had bought enough to bribe him to get back to being projectionist, the movie would continue.
Fast forward. Thirty years later, I attended a two-day graduation party for a friend. I was taking many photographs to build a souvenir album. I ran out of colour film, borrowed some black-and-white film, and continued taking pictures with more abandon, since the film is cheaper (I'm still a Scotsman!). I ran out of black-and-white film, but continued with even more abandon with the empty camera. Since there is no record of the shots, I decide to abandon the camera and take shots simply by blinking. Realising that there was little point in taking stills when I had a continuous movie going, I stopped blinking and sat back to enjoy the movie.
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