Virtual Reality (VR) refers to a computer generated experience. It recreates an environment which lets users imagine that they are entering an imaginary world. The scenario may be based on the real world or on fantasy. VR engages the user’s senses of sight, hearing, smell and touch. Users feel that they have actually experienced that world. VR is also referred to as computer-simulated life and immersive multi-media. It has a number of applications, ranging from defence and medical uses to pure entertainment.
Here are some books which contain detailed information on the subject.
1. Virtual Reality: The Revolutionary Technology of Computer Generated Artificial Worlds and How It Promises to Transform Society by Howard Rheingold
2. The Virtual Reality Book: Human-Centred Design for Virtual Reality by Jason Jerald Ph.D
3. Designing Virtual Worlds by Richard Bartle
4. The Visionary Position: The Inside Story of the Digital Dreamers Who Are Making Virtual Reality a Reality by Fred Moody
The world of virtual reality has spawned a whole new fiction genre. Some popular titles are listed below.
1. Vurt by Jeff Noon This futuristic fantasy has characters named Scribble and Game Cat. Scribble is a member of a gang addicted to a powerful narcotic called Vurt feathers.
2. Idoru by William Gibson This story follows two characters. It is set in Tokyo after an earthquake.
3. Rim: A Novel of Virtual Reality by Alexander Besher A mix of technology, mysticism and Japanese culture, this story takes readers to a world where VR has gone haywire.
4. New World by Gillian Cross Two people are testing a new VR game. They get completely absorbed in the process, but realise that their secret fears are being played upon.
5. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson A pizza delivery boy is a prince in the virtual world. He is on a mission to track down a villainous computer hacker.
6. Bug Park by James P Hogan The hero and his friend have a revolutionary new technology which can make them rich. An unknown enemy wants to put a stop to their scheme.
7. Solarversia by Toby Downton This story is about a VR game played by a hundred million people within a virtual world.
8. Insignia by S J Kincaid Earth has almost exhausted its natural resources. World War III is being fought to control resources from other planets. The unlikely hero is an expert in VR games.
9. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline The story is set in the year 2044. The teenage protagonist is trying to solve puzzles in a VR game. The winner stands to gain great rewards.
10. Daemon by Daniel Suarez A daemon is a computer program designed to run independently. This story revolves around a daemon that has turned rogue.
11. Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover A dystopian society sends actors to Overworld, an alternate reality. They have violent encounters which are transmitted to viewers who experience it through VR.
12. The Peripheral by William Gibson The main characters are a brother and sister. The brother is an injured Marine who works as a tester for VR games. His sister offers to help him, and witnesses a murder.
13. Idlewild By Nick Sagan The protagonist of the story attends a virtual school with nine other students. He learns that someone is trying to kill him.
14. End of Days by Dennis Danvers Set in a virtual world, the story references Biblical settings and characters in a futuristic way.
15. Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde The heroine has to win this virtual reality game or she will actually lose her life.