The growth of the economy and successful steps in the computer industry all over the world has created the conditions for the development of the new segment of technology. It found its quick development due to the rapid growth of the attention to this segment. It also created a possibility to quickly manipulate of the calculation and transform the information in the variety ways. The further progress of the computer technology prompted to the formation of special directions in this industry. One of such directions is a virtual reality. It is a simulation of the physical presence in imaginary and real world at the same time. All moves that the person is going to do by his real actions will be transformed at the same moves in the virtual world. Many developers of the virtual reality convinced that it will make a positive impact on the development of many industries and the humanity as a whole. However, there are many different opinions about this issue. The virtual reality could serve for the development of the many industries, but it also could serve in the creation of the dependence on the new technology. The virtual reality could lead to the degeneration of the human creativity, physical performance, affect personal behavior and lead to the addiction.
Virtual reality is an artificial reality, the reality of electronic, computerized model of reality. This is a created world by technical means and transmitted to humans through his senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch, and others. Virtual reality simulates the impact and response to the impact. The virtual reality is made in real time and creates a convincing sense of the reality of the complex computer synthesis properties and reactions. The virtual reality objects usually behave close to the behavior of similar objects of the material reality. The user can work on these facilities in accordance with the actual laws of physics (gravity, water properties, collision with objects, reflection, and so on). However, often for entertainment purposes, users of virtual world allow more than is possible in real life. They could fly or create any objects they want. The virtual reality was made to create a lifelike experience with the closest conditions to the real world.
The technology of the virtual reality is used to provide the effect of participation in the computer entertainment industry, which is reflected in the change of the situation on the screen, depending on the technical details of the implementation. With the handheld, the person can touch virtual objects that actually exist only in the memory of the computer system. Special costumes serve to transmit signals of muscular effort of person to a computer. It also forms the operator and sensory perception of the reactions of the environment. Seat platform and special cabin can create feelings of the moving bodies in space, such as flight or movement in the car on rough terrain (Cartwright, 1994). The virtual reality seems fantastic for today’s generation, but tomorrow may be quite ordinary.
Virtual reality as addiction
At first glance, it seems obvious advantage of use the virtual reality in training, as it provides a total immersion in the subject of study. In general, the computer training with the use of the virtual reality is a very intensive form. It could be considered as an accelerated accumulation of some kind of experience. However, the possibility of the human to adopt different skills and knowledge, apparently, is not endless. Therefore, during the training, we can face the phenomenon of over-training. It is a well-known fact among athletes and musicians, but is still relatively rare in the intellectual sphere. On the other hand, a positive effect of the training program will be achieved only if the model of the subject of training in virtual reality is adequate to the actual. Otherwise, harm from such training activity will be much more than good, because inadequate skills and sense of virtual reality secure in memory much better than other forms of learning. It is necessary to establish the appropriate branches of pedagogy that would deal with the study of the computer training forms and work out guidelines for software and hardware computer training (Grady, 1998).
Virtual reality quite easily converted from the professional, scientific, or the defense sector in the entertainment and is already widely used in the industry. In the entertainment segment, there is already a similar situation. The users are impressed by what they saw or heard much stronger, if they meet the attendance or participation in an event. The result will depend on the nature of the spectacle. If it is aimed at the development of intelligent, it could be achieved a positive effect. On the contrary, the depth of damage will be hard to imagine. The virtual death could be very real. Entertainment with the use of the virtual reality can be viewed as the process of taking a drug. It could be the strong effect of participation in the show, especially for a man with a fragile psyche. In additional, in a short period of time, it could also lead to the effect of the addiction. A long time without use of virtual reality will lead to the same effect as during the use of the chemicals drugs, except that there is no physical suffering. The absence of the physical suffering will be replaced by the significant discomfort and strong desire to stop any activity and use the virtual reality. The wide distribution of this technology in the entertainment industry we can compare with the spread of drugs.
The possibility of the world that could be looked as you want is very simply to embody. You can easily fill this world with any objects and events that are secret and forbidden. This opportunity is a very strong and potent tool. This world could be ephemeral, but it only yours. The strangers are not welcome and do not have the access to it. You are absolute lord and arbiter. You can punish and pardon. You can destroy everything to the ground or build the perfect and suitable for you environment. The fact of the escaping from the surrounding reality may be preferable than taking any drugs. However, this fact may lead to the problem that related to the change of the personal behavior. Only, at first sight, the addicted user of the virtual reality is less danger to the public than usual. When the user is accustomed to the all-powerful and all-permissiveness in its own world, he forgets to take it as a virtual. It cannot be imagined for him, as it is full of objects and events. It is created by his hands and mind. He will behave in the society likewise in the virtual reality. People are drifting away from the real world, in preference to a virtual world, where there are no problems and dangers. There are no responsibilities and concerns of the real world.
Impact on the personal behavior
The virtual reality is definitely changes the psyche and behavior of the people. In virtual reality users can clearly lose the orientation in the realities of life and can have a lack of understanding of the world in which they currently exist. People who like to spend their spare life in the virtual world become less responsible for their social life. They pay less attention to the social problems and do not associate themselves as a part of the society (Kershner, 1995). If people pay attention to the virtual world they have less time on the real world that they had before. It means that they would provide less result in any activity due to the lack of time. Users would not want to share with their virtual life with anybody else. It would make them less interactive and hidden members of the society. This could have an impact on their attitude to the relatives, friends and members of the family. As a result, it would change their interest in the formation of the family and interest to find a better job opportunity and so on. Virtual reality destroys a person identity, enhancing the dissociative forces that threaten the integrity of the human person. The feelings of the past, present and future are unclear. “The overpowering stimulation and excitement that virtual reality produces can lull the imagination and numb sympathetic feelings for pain and suffering” (Daisaku, 2001).
Impact on children and creativity
Before take a look how the virtual reality as a new technology influence people and make them to lose their essential creativity, we should observe the impact of other technologies. Let’s take a look to a very simple example. For this, we have to go back in time, when people did not use such device as calculator. The process of calculation was taking some time. However, during this process we used our mind. When the calculator came in our life, the math process became in many times quicker. It saved our time and made the calculation even more accurate. However, what happened to us. We got used to it. With time, we lost our ability to make the calculation in our mind. With this technology we obtained the quick operation result of the calculation, but we lost in terms of the making the operation with math in our mind. In the case of the virtual reality, we see the same result. Something we get, but something we also lose. We lose our essential creativity. The process of the virtual reality is supposed to limit the interpersonal activity of its users. While you operate in your virtual reality, you are spending time along. There are many online courses and multimedia classrooms that could learn you something. Taking those courses, you can learn the material in a narrow way. The knowledge of the information would be limited by the program. You would not hear other opinions about this issue. There is no opportunity for you to express your position during the education process. In this case, you act like a consumer without rights. It is obvious that virtual environment could accelerate the educational process. However, the result in the intellectual growth will undermine the moral, social and emotional development of the population. “The virtual reality will provide a communication environment in which the dangers of deception and the benefits of creativity are amplified beyond the levels that humans currently experience in their interpersonal interactions” (Biocca, 1995).
The impact of the virtual reality is especially visible in the younger generation. It is very dangerous for young generation. It is very easy to break the line for them between virtual and reality world. Most of them use the virtual reality in computer games. They have the second life over there. The active participation in these games makes the influence on their essential creativity. They are developing the creativity in the virtual world, but they spend less time on this in the real world. Everything that they would learn in the virtual reality will be not possible to apply in the real situations. Those skills to create virtual world will stay with them over there. The result of the virtual activity is only entertainment for them. Children more and more time spend in the virtual reality. It means that this time they could not spent on sport, educational process, readings books, interaction with other children. It means that they could not spend this time on the development of their essential creativity. Moreover, the visual effects of the virtual reality are much brighter and colorful. After them, the real world seems not attractive anymore. It seems gloomier, when children realize that in the virtual reality you can easier obtain more results than in the real life. This fact turns children back to the virtual world. “Virtual reality could lead to low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness and insignificance in children, even self-destructive acts”.
Impact on physical performance
The abuse of the virtual reality could lead to the decline in physical performance. Instruments and devices that are used for the creation of the virtual reality have a negative impact on the human body as a threat to his health. There are disturbing factors of disorientation in humans after the work on the simulator of the virtual reality until the time when the body returns to its previous state. The resulting effect is similar to being drunk with all ensuing consequences. Changes in coordination, maintaining balance and reflexes are equivalent to what happens when the alcohol content in the blood exceeds the safety standard. Scientists have long been aware of the facts of feelings of the disorientation and nausea in professionals who use flight simulators and other tools of the simulating reality. The effect of the training cabins is much greater. The force on the mind and the body increases in many times. Professionals who have to be in the virtual reality for several hours experience the problems with the health (Heim, 1993).
Thus, the technology of the virtual reality is apparently the most powerful tool of the psychological impact on people. It certainly will be widely used in various spheres of social practice. However, like any powerful tool, these technologies pose a serious threat to the physical and mental health of the society. The negative results of the virtual reality use could be loss of the control, a syndrome of social isolation, declining in the academic performance, climbing into debt, job loss and problems inside the family.