Experience on demand What virtual reality is, how it works, and what it can do

Jeremy Bailenson

Book - 2018

Virtual reality is able to effectively blur the line between reality and illusion, pushing the limits of our imagination and granting us access to any experience imaginable. With well-crafted simulations, these experiences, which are so immersive that the brain believes they're real, are already widely available with a VR headset and will only become more accessible and commonplace. But how does this new medium affect its users, and does it have a future beyond fantasy and escapism? In Expe...rience on Demand, Jeremy Bailenson draws on two decades spent researching the psychological effects of VR and other mass media to help readers understand this powerful new tool. He offers expert guidelines for interacting with VR and describes the profound ways this technology can be put to use--not to distance ourselves from reality, but to enrich our lives and influence us to treat others, the environment, and even ourselves better. In the world of VR, a football quarterback plays a game against a competing team hundreds of times before even stepping onto the field; members of the United Nations embody a young girl in a refugee camp going through her day-to-day life; and veterans once again walk through the streets where they had experienced trauma. There are dangers and many unknowns in using VR, but it also can help us hone our performance, recover from trauma, improve our learning and communication abilities, and enhance our empathic and imaginative capacities. Like any new technology, its most incredible uses might be waiting just around the corner. Experience on Demand is the definitive look at the risks and potential of VR--a must-read for navigating both the virtual and the physical worlds ahead.

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Subjects
Published
New York, N.Y. : W. W. Norton & Company, Inc [2018]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
290 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages [265]-277) and index.
ISBN
9780393253696
0393253694
Main Author
Jeremy Bailenson (author)
  • Practice made perfect
  • You are what you eat
  • Walking in the shoes of another
  • Worldview
  • Time machines for trauma
  • Absence makes the pain grow fainter
  • Bringing social back to the network
  • Stories in the round
  • Reverse field trips
  • How to build good VR content.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Virtual reality gear has come a long way from the primitive flight simulators that helped train pilots as far back as WWII. Now, high-speed computers can project images to a headset-wearing user as fast as 90 frames a second, creating a startlingly vivid sense of "presence"—the feeling of actual, lived experience in another environment. With his Stanford University-based Virtual Human Interactions Lab, Bailenson has spearheaded the adoption of virtual reality (VR) in medicine, business, and, most recently, professional sports. He begins this fascinating study of innovative VR technology with an account of veteran NFL quarterback Carson Palmer's dramatically improved pass-completion ratio via VR training. In addition to peddling VR's obvious potential for the entertainment industry, Bailenson catalogs some other surprising uses: virtual field trips for school children, reducing PTSD by revisiting traumatic experiences, alleviating pain in post-surgery and burn-unit patients. While Bailenson focuses more on laboratory studies than futuristic speculation, everyone with an interest in the digital realm, including technology entrepreneurs and gaming enthusiasts, will find his work thrillingly prophetic. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Virtual Reality (VR) is a psychologically powerful medium that allows people to have any experience at the push of a button. Bailenson (communications, Stanford Univ.), founding director of Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, discusses the purposes, uses, and wonders of VR through a first-person perspective citing decades of research. As with any technology, there are negative as well as positive impacts. The negatives of VR include small side effects such as eye strain but also bigger ramifications such as certain behavior modeling. Bailenson also provides thorough explorations of the benefits, including those for sports training and pain management. In fact, the medical uses are extensive; while not yet medically sanctioned, VR can be used as a distraction from dental anxieties or burn treatments. Also, a positive spin on the behavior modeling aspect is that VR can increase empathy by allowing people to walk in another person's shoes. Bailenson has done a considerable amount of VR research himself, but he also quotes researchers such as psychologist Stanley Milgram, journalist Daniel Grossman, and other experts. VERDICT This firsthand perspective makes for an inviting personal account; readers will enjoy the explanations behind this newly popular technology.—Natalie Browning, Longwood Univ. Lib., Farmville, VA Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The founding director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University provides an in-depth look at virtual reality and how it can be harnessed to improve our everyday lives.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

An exploration of the risks and potential of Virtural Reality argues that Virtual Reality technology can be used to enrich people's lives and influence how users treat others, the environment, and themselves.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Virtual reality technology is moving too fast right now for a summary to be much use, says Bailenson, but he believes virtual reality is on the verge of exploding into daily life, and this is a good moment to take stock of what it can do and and what as individuals and as a society we want it to do. He organizes the material in chapters titled you are what you eat, walking in the shoes of another, absence makes the pain grow fainter, bringing social back to the network, and how to build good virtual reality content. Annotation ©2018 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

Review by Publisher Summary 4

An in-depth look at virtual reality and how it can be harnessed to improve our everyday lives.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Virtual reality is able to effectively blur the line between reality and illusion, pushing the limits of our imagination and granting us access to any experience imaginable. With well-crafted simulations, these experiences, which are so immersive that the brain believes they’re real, are already widely available with a VR headset and will only become more accessible and commonplace. But how does this new medium affect its users, and does it have a future beyond fantasy and escapism?Experience on DemandExperience on Demand