The Future of Virtual Worlds

What would it be like if we were more obsessed with a virtual reality than our own? This is what Ernest Cline explores in his novel Ready Player One.

Presently we have small virtual worlds in the form of MMORPGS such as Warcraft, Everquest and Minecraft but Cline takes it further with OASIS (Ontologicaly Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation), an online world that encompasses new worlds and the fictitious ones we know from movies, games and memories. The year is 2044 and the world has run out of oil supply and faced with poverty. The world inside OASIS, where one could be who or what they wanted, became more appealing than the everyday world.

I wonder what the future of virtual worlds will be like for us. There are already people where Warcraft or Second Life takes up most of their lives. In the OASIS, making money online was synonymous with making money in real life. There was even the option to go to school online and students forced through software to pay attention. In 2010, Woodbury University in California tried to do something similar in Second Life but was banned by Linden Labs.

The OASIS Cline created was more than a game. It was a place to chat, browse the web, read books, explore and interact with many worlds without ever leaving your house. All you needed was a pair of gloves, the visor and the console. It may seem like it will be quite some time before we reach that type of technology but Google Glasses will soon be a reality.

As our world becomes increasingly more plugged in, I can only wonder what life will be like 30 years from now.

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