[MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

Adam Martin amsm2 at cam.ac.uk
Thu May 10 11:26:19 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Koster, Raph" <rkoster at verant.com>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2001 3:51 PM
Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Brad Triem
>> Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2001 12:23 AM
>> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
>> Subject: Re: [MUD-Dev] Logical MUD Areas

>> * the below is my opinion and not an accusation of another's point
>> of * thought *

>> We aren't in "Strange World" yet.  You are at the helm.  To think
>> that you are online and someone is "typing" to you, and considering
>> it as rape is absurd, in my opinion.  You could easily turn off
>> your monitor if what you are seeing someone else type doesn't agree
>> with you.  It isn't like someone is standing in front of you with a
>> death grip on you with rape in their eyes.  It is the same as those
>> who drive by an adult book store and bitch about the fact that it
>> is there, as opposed to those who "choose" to enter it.  Allowing
>> yourself into a situation is much different than being forced into
>> a situation.

>> This will hold true until we are so deep in the virtual world that
>> a virtual hacker could actually tap into your brain neurons and
>> prevent your muscles from reacting to the "thought" of removing
>> yourself from a virtual situation.

> But this exact thing DOES happen with just text. Have you never had
> the experience of something sudden and surprising on a mud resulting
> in an adrenalin rush, a mental freeze-up, joy, sadness, or anger?
> Those are physiological reactions triggered by our
> perceptions. Perhaps they would go away with immersion goes away,
> but they are nonetheless real. I've certainly many times had the
> experience of just forgetting I could log off (during an argument,
> for example).

There is also a fair amount of research on the possibility of
convincing yourself that something you know isn't real in fact is
real, and vice versa (I'm not talking about mere suspension of
disbelief, but something a lot more hardcore). All the papers etc I've
read have the common factor that it requires lots of effort/practice
to achieve and that many people who try just can't keep going long
enough to succeed. Two particularly interesting examples I know of

1) Research by Fred Brookes (yes, the same one) at UNC, where they put
people in an immersive VR simulator, took them down into a basement
and let them wander around (without being able to see the physical
world around them). The simulation depicted a room the same size as
the basement, but with a huge deep hole in the middle, with a object
on the far side which people were told to fetch, and a narrow path
round the edge of the walls.  Many people inched very slowly around
the edges, apparently truly afraid. Of course, first time round they
weren't sure whether there was a hole in the basement that no-one had
told them about! But even on successive times, some people couldn't
face just walking across the hole. However, some people just walked
straight across (appearing to float in mid air) first time every time
without hesitation. Apparently it turned out that many of these people
were sub-aqua divers, who had become trained not to be disturbed by
floating unsupported over big empty spaces (ie when near the surface
of the sea, but underwater and looking down).

2) Lucid dreaming. Although there is a lot of seemingly rubbish
pseudo-science on this topic, there have been some apparently
scientific psychiatrist's reports etc - e.g. one woman who managed to
screw up her perception of reality so much that she couldn't tell when
she was dreaming, nor when she was awake, even after waking
up. Allegedly, when driving, she would drive her car up on to the kerb
briefly - if the car carried on going up and started flying, then she
would deduce she was dreaming, otherwise she'd assume she was awake!

Adam M

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