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Virtual Life vs Reality

Nowadays, a lot of people are almost completely disconnected from reality, especially teenagers. They have no need to explore and experience the physical world. They are buying whatever they need and communicating with friends on the internet. Many young people spend most of their time on the web. It seems like such people have completely lost interest in the natural things in the physical world and plunged into the virtuality of the technological world. Virtuality has a significant influence on our life. It changed the way we access information, read news, journals, and even the way we communicate and feel physical reality.

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Sometimes the virtual world seems more real for some people than our regular reality. Mainly because in the virtual world people have more freedom in their actions and appearance. Usually, they do not have to worry about societal norms, morality, religious prohibitions, etc. Nowadays, more and more people study online. They learn new languages, study their subjects, read online newspapers, virtually explore the world. It is convenient, but people are becoming more and more disconnected from the real world. Besides, there is a lack of physical experiencing. It is much better if virtual life will not prevail over reality.

Generally, Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-simulated environment. VR is a primarily visual experience. It can be displayed on a computer screen, stereoscopic displays, etc. Virtual reality is known for its high level of immersion, veracity and interaction. Modern computer games are called Virtual reality, as they are immersive and verisimilar.

Virtual reality can be successfully used in education. VR makes its contribution to a variety of educational methods and information delivery mechanisms, but what is more important, according to Bell and Fogler (1995, p. 3) it specifically addresses “those areas where traditional methods are weakest”. For Virtual reality, training for real-life practices has always been one of the most important areas of application (Kalawsky 1996, n.p.). It has long been known that students need more activities and interaction than just ordinary lections. With the technological progress a lot of computer-based educational programs, simulators, interactive modules have appeared.

VR has also been used to improve sensory and motor functions among children with Down syndrome (DS). According to Wuang et al. (2011, p. 312)“this quasi-experimental study compared the effect of standard occupational therapy (SOT) and Virtual reality using Wii gaming technology (VRWii) on children with Down syndrome”. Considering this experimental study, it is noticeable that “participants in the VRWii group had a greater pre-post change on motor proficiency, visual-integrative abilities, and sensory integrative functioning” (Wuang et al. 2011, p. 312).

Considering this particular example, it is obvious, how efficient and useful virtual reality can be. But on the other hand, there are too many young people addicted to it, spending most of their time at home in front of computers, playing video games, and even having virtual sex. Some of the addicted ones value virtual life much more than the real one. Some of them cannot imagine their life without their avatar, which is a user’s alter ego virtual representation. They “spend money on outfits” in the virtual world, change avatar’s eye color, make friends or argue with somebody (Newitz 2009). There are people who treat it as entertainment, but there are also some who completely plunge into it.

There is such a game as Second Life. It is a virtual reality game, in which a person can spend his/her time, communicate with other players, visit clubs, build own house, etc. While spending all of their free time online, chatting with strangers, buying or selling virtual items for real money, they usually become more and more disconnected from the real world and real people, even family. People who play this game often seek complete isolation. They even sometimes renounce from social life and refuse to leave their homes for a very long time. Instead, they prefer to live in virtual reality, where they can earn and spend money, find “friends” and “live” as an avatar (Lunn 2008, n.p.).

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Such “life” cannot replace the real one. People should experience the real world by themselves, but not with simulated reality. They should spend more time outside, watching kids playing, reading books, walking with our dogs, communicating face-to-face with their friends, but not chatting hours with strangers and anonyms on the web.


Bell, J. T & Fogler, H. S 1995, The Investigation and Application of Virtual reality as an Educational Tool, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Lunn, S 2008, Don’t be a virtual ass, rush out this second and get a life, Web.

Kalawsky, R.S 1996, Exploiting Virtual reality Techniques in Education and Training: Technological Issues, Web.

Newitz, A 2009, Virtual Sex: Cheating or Not?, Web.

Wuang, Y. P, Chiang, C. S, Su C. Y &Wang, C. C 2011, ‘Effectiveness of Virtual reality using Wii gaming technology in children with Down syndrome’, Research in Developmental Disabilities, vol 32, pp. 312-321, n.d., Elsevier Ltd, Web.

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