One Reality. Etymology

I do not understand virtual reality. It is hard to find people sharing high resolution views on this topic. Over the next few weeks I will be drilling through the infomuck to the core of the matter. I will turn my advances and insights and encounters into short posts, bundled into a series. I named the series “One Reality”.

First, let me consider the term. The phrase virtual reality was first used in the English translation of the book by Antonin Artaud, titled The Theatre and its Double, published in 1958. The text feels exorcistic and maniacal to me. Very alien and strange. The Artaud’s theatre plays on the perverse possibilities of the mind and further, it executes a theatrical version of shock therapy, as Sonntag puts it. Just as the text itself, the proposed theatre captivates the awareness of a participant by first targeting, then aggressively overflowing sensory inputs. It is a violent force.

In the 1970’s the term artificial reality was used for the first time. It was an accident though. The first person to intentionally use the phrase virtual reality in the modern day context was Jaron Lanier in 1980’s. He invested himself in the term, as C. Jason Smith points out.

Next, virtuality.