LIVE IN VIRTUAL REALITY OFFPLANET COLONIES
Space colonization, which has long belonged to the realm of the science fiction, is set to become a reality within a short time. With several large companies making serious plans to colonize the moon and the planet mars, it is possible that it may be achieved within our lifetime.
Current plans for space colonization envisage human settlements built below the ground or in special surface structures on the host planet. Some plans involve orbital settlements as well.
Such endeavours would involve the transport of materials across interplanetary distances in huge transport vessels at great costs. Creating comfortable living places in the environment of the outer space will obviously involve a continuous supply of some raw materials from the earth. These requirements could very possibly make the cost of an extra-terrestrial existence prohibitive and beyond the reach of all but a few people.
This problem, however, may be surmounted by creating a sophisticated virtual environment in such colonies. Here, the aesthetic requirements of the colonists will be satisfied in a virtual world, which will mask the reality of a bland surrounding.
This presupposes the future significant advances in the technology of virtual reality, especially in the incorporation of the external bodily senses in the virtual experience.
However, living in such a simulated existence over a long period of time with the absence of an acceptable alternative may pose problems. It is possible that some may lose their nerves because of the experience and become crazy.
This feeling may result in some psychological disturbance, perhaps caused by a craving for the solidity of the real world- one that approximates the aesthetics of the virtual one.
This is one of the factors that may need to be considered by the futurists before the virtual existence becomes fully acceptable.