Are We Living in a Virtual Reality?

Last night I dreamt that I took off a virtual reality headset and “woke up” in a VR arcade. Suddenly I found myself sitting on the floor in a small dark room, with a rack of different virtual reality rigs set up for me to choose from, and one in my hands on my lap. I was disoriented and had a severe case of vertigo, like the gravity suddenly changed directions, or like suddenly someone changed the channel on my life.

Like all my dreams, this one felt strikingly vivid. But what if this dream was more real than reality? What if, when I took off the headset in the dream, I was actually taking off the headset containing the world that we live in and waking up in the real world?

The human brain is capable of highly committed escapism. We see it all the time in denial, daydreaming, and dementia. Is it possible that we are all living in a virtual world? Is it possible that we are living in a virtual world by choice? What if, at some point, we all chose to put on a VR headset and enter this world, and this world is so much more appealing than reality that our brains trick themselves into thinking this is real?

Maybe that’s why we can have out-of-body experiences. Why we can experience deja-vu. Why things sometimes feel so perfect or so perfectly twisted that it feels like we’re living in a crafted reality like a TV show. I’m not claiming to know the answer here. All I know is that, at the end of the dream, I put the headset back on.

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Headset in banner image: Samsung Gear VR running RiverVR’s music video simulation

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