A new trend in modern society is attraction to virtual reality, games and Internet use. There are many reasons why they are useful, just some examples include: in medical settings to aid in healing, for mental development and for increasing productivity. While these things can also negatively impact users, they can also significantly positively influence them.
Virtual reality (VR) has been used for several applications. Well-known examples of this include Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift, a headset that allows the user to “see” 360 degrees of a simulated environment by turning their heads, just like one might see in the real world. This has opened up several possibilities for software applications. Amputees have used VR treatment to lessen ‘phantom pains’ from missing limbs by watching simulated versions of themselves. By using virtual reality, the user can see their missing limbs almost as if they were really there and can ease phantom pains. There have also been reports of virtual reality headsets being used by military tank operators to allow a 360 degree view of the outside environment while inside. This allows more efficient and less obstructed use of the tank. Virtual reality also has applications in the medical field, allowing medical personnel to practice techniques on life-like simulations, identically to how they would perform in an operating room.
Gaming has several positive benefits, contrary to popular opinion. Certain video games can increase a player’s spatial reasoning skills, problem-solving critical thinking and more. One popular video game, Minecraft, has been used by teachers for their students for these reasons. Minecraft involves placing different blocks, as well as removing them, in a 3 dimensional digital world. The ‘survival’ mode of the game includes skills such as resource management and gathering, as well as strategic thinking to defend said resources from in-game challenges. Playing the game develops these skills so well that a school in Stockholm, Sweden has made playing Minecraft mandatory and part of their curriculum. Positive benefits from gaming are not limited to one specific genre, however. First person shooters, for example, like the popular Call of Duty series, can help develop strategic thinking skills. Additionally, many games can have a positive emotional impact on users by relieving stress.
Finally, the Internet has contributed many significant positive benefits upon the world’s users. Free online resources such as Wikipedia, Khan Academy and Google contribute to providing access to information that otherwise might not be available. This opens the opportunity for increased public knowledge and accessibility to better opportunities for everyone, provided they have the dedication to use them. Internet in education and business also allows for extreme efficiency, rapid communication and evaluation. This has allowed for a vastly more connected world and faster response times for emergency responders and recreational connectivity.
The prevalence of VR, gaming and the Internet in popular society greatly contributes to its well being and is something that should be encouraged. All three provide benefits almost impossible without their existence. They allow for a new world, a virtual world, one that caters to its users and lets them leave better for it.