Experience on Demand

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What to expect

An in-depth look at virtual reality and how it can be harnessed to improve our everyday lives

Virtual reality is able to effectively blur the line between reality and illusion, pushing the limits of our imagination and granting us access to any experience imaginable. With well-crafted simulations, these experiences, which are so immersive that the brain believes they’re real, are already widely available with a VR headset and will only become more accessible and commonplace. But how does this new medium affect its users, and does it have a future beyond fantasy and escapism?

In Experience on Demand, Jeremy Bailenson draws on two decades spent researching the psychological effects of VR and other mass media to help listeners understand this powerful new tool. He offers expert guidelines for interacting with VR and describes the profound ways this technology can be put to use―not to distance ourselves from reality, but to enrich our lives and influence us to treat others, the environment, and even ourselves better. In the world of VR, a football quarterback plays a game against a competing team hundreds of times before even stepping onto the field; members of the United Nations embody a young girl in a refugee camp going through her day-to-day life; and veterans once again walk through the streets where they had experienced trauma.

There are dangers and many unknowns in using VR, but it also can help us hone our performance, recover from trauma, improve our learning and communication abilities, and enhance our empathic and imaginative capacities. Like any new technology, its most incredible uses might be waiting just around the corner. Experience on Demand is the definitive look at the risks and potential of VR―a must-listen for navigating both the virtual and the physical worlds ahead.

Critics Review

  • “Virtual reality is changing the way athletes train. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand and hone performance through VR.”

    Joe Montana, Hall of Fame quarterback
  • “This firsthand perspective makes for an inviting personal account; readers will enjoy the explanations behind this newly popular technology.”

    Library Journal
  • “Everyone with an interest in the digital realm, including technology entrepreneurs and gaming enthusiasts, will find [this] work thrillingly prophetic.”

  • “A sensible, thoroughly satisfying overview of the next quantum leap in digital technology.”

    Kirkus Reviews
  • “Few people alive know as much about VR as Jeremy Bailenson. For decades he’s been researching how VR affects humans. Read this before you enter this new world.”

    Kevin Kelly, founding editor of Wired and author of The Inevitable
  • “This book describes the edge of human self-knowledge and a precipice of human foibles to avoid.”

    Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not A Gadget

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