I written much about virtual space on The Other Blog, but it occurs to me that I haven’t actually written much about the benefits of it here. Not only do I predict that virtual space will come into being as I describe, but I also fiercely advocate its development. Virtual space is potentially the greatest human invention that will ever happen. Greater even than fire. It is the technology that will liberate us from physical, biological drudgery, and transform us into nearly god-like beings.
But why is this so? What is it about virtual space that is so completely revolutionary? It is because of what virtual space fundamentally is. It’s a computer-simulated environment where the laws of physics become merely the laws of what is logically possible. In virtual space, the concept of scarcity (which is the basis of economics) vanishes. Every single virtual inhabitant can have anything they ever wanted, and the only cost is the electricity and computing power needed to simulate it (the current cost of which is dwindling rapidly). A big house, a fancy car, rich food, a partner or two (or ten)…and anything else you might possibly want are available instantly.
Virtual space also allows you to do things that are simply impossible in the real world. For example, travel is instantaneous to any other virtual place. In virtual space you can fly like Superman, or eat at much as you want without getting fat. You don’t age, you don’t get sick. Your virtual avatar can have any appearance you want it to have and you can change it anytime on a whim. Today, modifying your appearance usually means plastic surgery, but in virtual space doing it is (1) free, (2) painless, (3) always works the way you want it to and (4) instant. And of course, (5) always reversible. Oh and (6) you have a much wider selections of options in virtual space like changing your height which is exceptionally difficult to do physically.
Compared to virtual space, physical reality just plain sucks. We’re stuck with what we’ve got. If you were born with genes to be four-foot-ten and hideous well…too bad for you. You only get one life and some people have to go through it looking like an ogre. Others get to be supermodels and it’s completely random and unfair. Given the choice, I think nearly everyone would choose to live in virtual space. And that option should be available to everyone in the future.
Personally, what I’d like to do in virtual space–besides the obvious (ahem)–is to play in a jazz band. I used to play in school but have since dropped it focus on other things (like waxing poetic about virtual space). In the real world, getting a group of musicians together is difficult. There’s schedules to coordinate, you have to find a place to practice, and you have to lug all your instruments and equipment around. In virtual space, I am the only human musician. Everyone else in the band would be computer-controlled. It would basically be my own personal group at my beck and call, which only plays the songs I want to play. And the musicians would all play like professionals. As a musician (like any artist) you need to be around people better than you to get better yourself. Virtual space would provide that.