Virtual reality is really real

By Neel Anil Panicker

Everybody loves a challenge, don’t we?

And what better if that challenge comes from the dark unknown.

The virtual world, that is.

A point which was recently validated by a group of scientists working at the very prestigious New York University Tandon School of Engineering.

Fifty men and women, all randomly chosen and possessing identical educational, social and cultural interests were tasked with tagging objects to a Brooklyn Atlantis photograph as part of an ongoing city science project.

With the clock set to an hour, it was found that the coworkers who ended up with the highest number of submissions were those who witnessed a virtual peer that consistently ended up outbeating all others.

The results of the said experiment, which was spread over a three-week period conclusively proved that men and women get motivated to react when there is virtual peer competition around them.

This left me wondering as to its applicability in a more widespread manner.

I mean, wouldn’t it be wonderful were we to assign computer simulated peer members who would work alongside humans and carry on with performing tasks, both___mundane everyday events and also on a more macro scale including those whose outcomes have massive geo-political ramifications on very global scales?

I got my answer to that soon enough.

The other day I met an excited twenty something and while we were conversing the topic gently drifted towards his career plans.

To my very well intentioned query as to what he intended to do with his life, the starry young man replied that he wanted to enter politics.

Intrigued, I decided to probe him further.

“What makes you aspire to be a career politician.

Without batting an eyelid, he shot back, “Rahul Gandhi”.

Momentarily stunned, I only could manage a very feeble, “What?”

Pat came the reply, “Well, for someone who is as good as an alien and travels all over the stratosphere except refrains from landing on the atmosphere, but still manages to be hailed as the “Great Indian Hope” by his unending army of acolytes, sychophants and what have you, he surely is one big inspiration.

Well what can I say to that. Science has merely confirmed what we have known for long.

Proof enough that there are out there some virtual buddies who inspire us__not by their actions but by their inactions.

Can’t get more paradoxical than this, can it?



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