The progress of virtual reality is the key to so many advancements that have already been discussed. So many Science Fiction stories end up with some sort of virtual reality element.
Sometimes virtual reality is simply the next method of escape to be able to be transported to another world. Another option is that it is used as a tool, but does not become the world in which we live. Other times it becomes everything because it becomes the way we exist in the world. It is everyday life and only possibly having to leave to eat and sleep, but at the same time work, school, everything else can exist within the virtual reality.
The idea of virtual reality as a tool that can be used seems like it could be just around the corner. Being able to train virtually to do surgery or even do surgery from a distance because you are in a virtual reality and a machine is following along with your movements somehow.
Of course this would never be used solely for work – it would also be used for entertainment purposes. A great example of how far the technology could go can be seen with the holodeck in Star Trek. Not only is it used to help train officers through specific scenarios it also allows them to live their dreams. They can act out their favorite story or just explore someplace they have never been before. Part of what is great about virtual reality is that the possibilities are endless.
A New World
The next level of virtual reality is that it becomes the way we exist in the world. This becomes most prominent when you look at how it is used in Ready Player One. It is where people go to school and probably where people work as well, depending on their job at least. People can create their own spaces and everything can exist in those spaces.
Already we see games, music, books, videos, photos, etc. existing solely in a digital or online space. It doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch to have those same things exist in virtual reality. In the story Ready Player One they still have to come out of virtual reality to do things such as drink or eat, but the main character gets a machine that allows him to walk and thus keep his muscles from dying by being able to move while in the virtual world.
The big thing that virtual reality does is make the whole concept of space not matter because you really are one step away from being able to be in the same space – even if it is virtual.