Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg surprised the audience at Samsung’s Mobile World Congress press conference on Sunday, where he extolled the 'virtues' of Virtual Reality, but one image, one he proudly touted on his own Facebook page, is terrifying.... an image that should raise red flags for those that still have functioning brain cells.
SEA OF ZOMBIES
The new world as envisioned by Zuckerberg is described as "Pretty soon we’re going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes as if you’re just there, right there in person. Imagine being able to sit in front of a campfire and hang out with friends anytime you want. Or being able to watch a movie in a private theater with your friends anytime you want. Imagine holding a group meeting or event anywhere in the world that you want. All these things are going to be possible. And that’s why Facebook is investing so much early on in virtual reality. So we can hope to deliver these types of social experiences."
Twitter user Nicolas Debock, asks the question we all should be asking when he tweeted "is this picture an allegory of our future ? the people in a virtual reality with our leaders walking by us."
Rich McCormick over at The Verge succinctly captures the creepiness as he states "The image above looks like concept art for a new dystopian sci-fi film. A billionaire superman with a rictus grin, striding straight past human drones, tethered to machines and blinded to reality by blinking plastic masks."
Even Facebook users were questioning the image as seen by comments left on Zuckerberg's post, with one user, Romi Kuntsman saying "Mark - doesn't it feel strange to be the only one walking with your real eyes, while everyone else are zombies in the matrix?"
What the people at the Mobile World Congress, those that are being deliberately "blinded" to what is real in favor of what they are seeing in the world of Virtual Reality, do not understand is that they could end up looking like this when it is all over:
What a better way to blind the masses to what is actually happening in the world, than to encourage them to live in a "virtual world," where everyone is sitting around a campfire in their minds, while the world comes crashing down around them in real life.
Becoming numb to "reality" and the creepiness factor aside, we see there are real health concerns still associated with virtual reality gadgets as doctors have warned they are already seeing an "seeing an epidemic of motion sickness," which they refer to as "cybersickness."
Studies have found that digital motion sickness can impact 50 to 80 percent of people, depending on certain digital content and how it is shown to viewers, according to the Times. The research showed that women appear to be more susceptible to this sickness than men. People with a history of migraines and concussions are also disproportionately affected by quick camera cuts or chaotic first-person camera views.
If that image touted by Zuckerberg does not send chills down your spine, then you are already a "zombie."
Below - University of Minnesota professor of Kinesiology Dr. Thomas Stoffregen on virtual reality headsets making consumers seasick. (January 2016)
Below is a 1996 NBC News report on Virtual Reality and Simulator Sickness with experts Kay Stanney, Robert Kennedy, and Tony Asch, showing an example of this sickness and the real effects of VR .