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Virtualization of Experience - with a detour to Perky Pat...

DharmaChakra - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 07:07:54 +0530
Philip K. Dick, in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch introduces a rather novel sub-story, the game of 'Perky Pat'. In a nutshell, the game is played by 4 humans who consume a drug, and then enter into a virtual world whereby they 'become' Perky Pat, a doll and all of her possesions iin a diorama (think Barbie & her Dream House). In typical Dick fashion, Perky Pat is about our nostalgia (the humans are drafted to habitate Mars, and are isolated from Earth), materialism, shared experience/hallucination, and the very nature of reality. I think had Dick been around, he would see online gaming as realization of Perky Pat.

I think we are finally seeing the convergence of technology such that the everyday person can have a real and meaningful virtual experience. The current and dominant paradigm is gaming, but I don't think this will be the end. I wonder how applicable this technology is to GV. I know Jagat has done 'guided meditations' at one of the ECGs, and I wonder how different an online version would be...

I think there are quite a few directions this topic could go in.. but lets see what others have to say. Any interest in discussing this?
DharmaChakra - Sat, 11 Dec 2004 19:22:14 +0530
I wanted to post a response I sent to a PM from Jagat.
QUOTE(Response to Jagat)
Well, I knew it would be of little interest to many... but (and I should have referenced) this thread came about from my post in the 'Fireside Check-in'. I think gaming is really the paradigm that has driven the development of the technology to bring something like this about, but being limited to the concept of a game is thinking too small... you have an opportunity here to develop a common shared experience, albeit a virtual or 'fake' one (or is it?).

Much of what I would be interested in talking about, I would consider myself unqualified to do so. When one performs Yoga Pitha Seva, what are they constructing? Or is it coming into touch with? (From my glossing over Manjari Svarupa Nirupana, this seems to be more the case) When you conduct a guided meditation, what really is happening? Is there a valid shared experience there, or just a bunch of solipsistic little bubbles?

My real interest is really outside of GV, helping my daughter with her condition & her communication needs. One of the problems with teaching software is the dependence on the game paradigm. But Madhava's post about Yugal Kishore got me thinking... I'm not sure if its a valuable idea or not.

My reference to Perky Pat was to draw out the idea of shared experience... its there, and its something that I think is attractive to humans. The online experience allows one to quite quickly lose oneself in the 'character', coming close to approximating the Dick story of 20+ years ago. I think also many of the topics Dick discussed are valid questions that can be asked of this technology.

I think developing just 3D constructs of Vraja is not enough... you need the shared community of exploring it with another person, again, much like I have seen your guided meditations described. To simply viscerally view the 3D objects wouldn't be the full manifestation of the technology.

As for the rather bad quality of the posting... unfortunately I should refrain from posting late at night blush.gif Esp. when my kids have had me up at 3:00 AM that morning... rolleyes.gif Actually, this PM probably would have made a better posting, but hindsite is what it is..

I want to draw out what I'm really going after with this thread... and to maybe explain why the first post is somewhat incomprehensible smile.gif (see the last paragraph)

As I said in the 'Fireside Check-in' thread, the idea for me really came about in an attempt to help my daughter overcome her communication issues. I should probably be more specific. While she is unable to talk, she has tested repeatedly as having 'normal' intelligence. She has the added disadvantage of not being terribly fine motor coordinated... currently her main communication method is to use hybrid sign language... but you can imagine the frustration; here is a girl of normal intelligence, able to understand what you say, but unable to easily communicate back with you... There is a very real possibility she will talk on day, so dependence on signing (which is not english) is also not something that should be inforced, ie. she needs to learn to hear and communicate in english.

All I can say is that the technology is moving forward at a rapid pace, and the experience is becoming more immersive. Can it be harnesed for GV, well I really have no idea, and it isn't (wasn't) my primary interest, but I would be very interested in hearing the thought of all the assembled (and very intelligent) devotees. I might add that it may seem strange to you, but your kids will be growing up in this environment biggrin.gif

Oh, and to defend my fine character innocent.gif I'd like to add that I don't consider myself a 'gamer' per se. Two kids and about 1000 other interests keep me from it... but its an interesting world to poke around in.. I got the XBox to function as a media center for my home... only recently did someone turn me onto the online gaming concept...