Virtual Realism

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Virtual Realism is an art form and a way of living with technology. To explain it, Michael Heim draws on a hypertext of topics, from answering machines to interactive art, from engineering to television programmes, from the meaning of UFOs to the Internet. The technology of virtual reality brought a new dimension to culture with its virtual offices and cyberspace friendships - but few agree on its merits. Opinions range from the Unabomber's Luddite activism to Wired's cyberpunk attitude to Bill Gate's commercial optimism. Virtual Realism guides readers through the debate and suggests ways of harmonizing computers with culture. Exploring a wide-range of virtual reality technologies, from a tour of a virtual art gallery to the heads-up-displays used by military pilots, Michael Heim shares the discoveries he has made over several years in the studios of VR designers. Always suggesting a harmony of technology with lifestyle, the result is an illuminating look at the meaning and value of human life in the age of cyberculture.