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Virtual reality has become the next digital frontier with the emergence of high-end devices like the Oculus Rift and the basic ones like Google Cardboard. While this is a universe that may now be physically realized, it isn’t a novel concept: science fiction has long envisaged virtual worlds within imagined worlds. Authors began experimenting with stories using simulated worlds in the early 1950s [1].


For example, Ray Bradbury’s 1951 novel ‘The Veldt’ was about a couple of children in a virtual nursery, while Frederik Pohl’s 1955 short story ‘The Tunnel Under the World’ was about a guy who kept reliving the same day over and over, only to learn that he was stuck in a sadistic marketing simulation.



Virtual reality served as a useful tool for authors to investigate a few of intriguing issues that had before been covered in fiction. Multiple realities were becoming possible thanks to technological advancements: the real world and alternate realities in which the characters couldn’t tell the difference between real and fake. In addition, technology made everything uncertain in a world where reality was as solid as the ground beneath one’s feet and what one could see and feel [2]. Authors began to challenge reality itself, not just their characters manipulation.


Another example, William Gibson’s ‘Neuromancer’, is perhaps the most significant work of cyberpunk fiction. ’Even in this basic form, the kids who were playing them were so physically interested; it seemed to me that they wanted to be within the games, within the notational space of the machine. For them, the real world had vanished’ said Gibson based on his experience at a Vancouver arcade. Neuromancer was one of the first and finest depictions of the nascent internet, grasping everything there was to know about the technology and how it worked before anyone ever knew existed: ’Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts .. a graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system’ [3].


Another novelist, Neal Stephenson, was set to redefine how we envisioned cyberspace little under a decade after Gibson transformed everything. ‘Snow Crash’ the authors third novel, was published in 1992 and is a gritty cyberpunk narrative set in the twenty-first century, in which commercial interests have mostly taken over the planet. The story follows Hiro Protagonist, a metaverse player who discovers a terrible new medication called Snow Crash, a virus that infects both the players virtual avatar and their real body [4]. Stephenson's world expands on the concepts that Gibson pioneered in the genre. Cyberspace and virtual reality were, rather than being additions to reality, a means of escape, presenting options not available in the real world. Even though virtual reality is already widely recognized as a disruptive technology, it is still considered to be in its early phases. Perhaps one day we will have to question what is real and what isn’t, which is a surprising concept to consider.


The goal of VRLab Academy is to use virtual reality technology to provide a more engaging teaching environment for both students and teachers in biology, chemistry, physics, and natural sciences. Even though schools are only now beginning to investigate the possibilities of virtual reality, technology will continue to advance, and learning alternatives will expand. Virtual reality education may become a common requirement for new or specialized teachers soon.


Take a look at all experiments at VRLab Academy and enhance your teaching power with us.



[1]. Andrew Liptak, Sci-Fi Literature Predicted the Rise of Modern Virtual Reality.

[2]. Andrew Liptak, Sci-Fi Literature Predicted the Rise of Modern Virtual Reality.

[3]. “The Sentimental Futurist: Cybernetics and Art in William Gibson’s Neuromancer”, 1992.

[4]. Lisa Swanstrom ‘Capsules and Nodes and Ruptures and Flows: Circulating Subjectivity in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash’.