Date of Award
Bachelor of Communications Honours
Faculty of Communications, Health and Science
In this thesis I will examine the construction of the concept of Virtual Reality. I argue that rather than a technology of liberation as it is often perceived, virtual realities' conception has been influenced significantly by a discourse of control and order. I examine books, articles and films concerning Virtual Reality to support this claim. Furthermore this discourse of control and order is born out of a larger ideology of Western culture that values order and control. Throughout modernity this ideology has manifested itself through techniques and technologies of social and environmental control. I provide a brief historical outline highlighting some of these techniques and technologies focusing particularly upon surveillance. I suggest that under the guiding influence of the ideology of order and control one possible future use for Virtual Reality technology may be as a surveillance technology. The ideology of order and control is born out of a desire to transcend the unpredictable nature of life. This desire is reflected in the VR proponents aim to create a totally known and controlled artificial environment. I contend that an alternative way of thinking is needed so that objects such as Virtual Reality can be used for more appropriate purposes other than controlling and ordering. I draw upon the philosophy of Martin Heidegger to outline a thinking that is more open, and reflective, and that embraces the chaotic nature of existence. Such a thinking that is focused more upon the actual conditions of our everyday lives, may yield uses for technologies such as Virtual Reality that are more focused upon people's needs.
Murrihy, C. I. (2000). Virtual Reality and the Modern Ideology of Order and Control. Retrieved from http://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses_hons/868