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Book Quotes: Net Coma

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Source: Otherland: City of Golden Shadow, Page: 25

She looked over at Stephen, wiggling and jiggling on the net. He might as well be catatonic.

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When a person becomes truly totally immersed in any VR environment, their physical body almost ceases to be a part of them. The more senses are subsumed by the synthetic reality, the less connection the brain feels to the original body. With enough sensory subsumation, an active net user appears to be comatose, at least to the casual observer. In actual fact, their brain is working at high power, and they are very, very physically active as far as they are concerned.

That meaning is not quite the meaning here, for Stephen is not inactive, but jiggling away; his face and hands immersed in interface hardware. He is physically active, but still dead to the world. Despite his body moving about, it bears no relation to physical interaction with the wider world, so he might as well be in a coma for all the interaction with the outside environment he is showing the capacity for right now.

This is something which occurs in current times, with MMO gameworlds in particular. It is also seen in medical VR such as snow world, where it is used to the practitioner?s advantage ? snow world completely distracts burn victims whilst their wounds are redressed.

In many ways, the body of someone who is active and engaged in VR, is no different than their in-world avatar when they are away from the computer. It is a shell with the mind elsewhere.

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About the Book 'Otherland, Volume 1: City of Golden Shadow'
By Tad Williams
Produced By DAW Books

The first book in the Otherland Saga, City of Golden Shadow serves as an introduction and ground setting book that enriches and deepens the later works. Among the many aspects of life in this near-future world it depicts in detail, is an advanced virtual reality technology.

City of Golden Shadow introduces the basics of total immersion VR technologies, slightly further ahead than those of William Gibson?s Neuromancer. It delves into all the possible uses for such technology in stunning depth and detail, yet it does so in such a way that the pace of the plot never slackens.
Click here for full review of Otherland, Volume 1: City of Golden Shadow

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