Patkin spends a solid chunk of time discussing the virtual opportunities in the world of education, and even business. It even educates those within the business world. Well, let's start with the education topic. In recent years, I would say the last decade and change, people have been able to take classes online. While this has not been looked at as a very prestigious way of obtaining a higher education it certainly is widely utilized. The fact that a teacher can lecture to a class through streaming video (more recently), and they can post assignments and tutorials online. Even Fordham utilizes the internet to aid and improve efficiency in learning as we have Blackboard and Oasis as almost necessary entities in our collegiate experience. More to the virtual point, as it says in the book, computers can offer high level, full scale representations of the actual job. The book points out flight simulators as a virtual experience beneficial to the actual task.
With business the virtual realm improves efficiency and technology only furthers the communications possibilities of international commerce. Take the newly introduced full-size video conferencing for example. The fact that, from anywhere in the world, two groups of people can meet practically sitting across from each other.
This is a ridiculously cool invention that, thanks to the power of telecommunications and basically the same technology as the virtual classroom experience, but on a larger scale, is undoubtedly a progressive movement in business.
When I was about 8 or 9 years old Nintendo introduced the Virtua Boy, a "virtual reality" gaming experience where you physically put your head inside a read box on top of a tripod and most of the time, you'd get a headache. This is really my only on-the-head virtual experience, and it wasn't a great one. So, what type of possibilities can be pursued with the fully encompassing experience that virtual reality can give us? As I see it, there would need to be some type of interactive element to make the virtual reality platform be more than a novelty or an entertainment option and really be a force in the world of academia or business.
We have online, multi-user gaming systems on both the XBOX360 and the Playstation3. Each console, provided the online kit is purchased, enables the user to play against and talk to anyone with the same console and online capabilities. It's an exciting thing to think about, and previously on this blog it has been discussed, but it would be nice to see things like this applied to more areas than just trash talk and grainy banter.