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Virtual Reality (VR) is getting better all the time.  Imagine for a moment that I've invented the ultimate VR experience.  It's got seamless tactile and olfactory feedback.  It's got such smooth, high-res video and powerful sound, you'd swear it was real.  In my VR game, you get to be attractive, rich, and powerful.  You get a highly-customized game world tailored to your unique individual tastes.  User-guided AI bots add new content daily. 

 

You get to go where you want and do what you want, all for a tiny fraction of what real life costs.  I only charge $0.01 per hour.  You could stay logged in 24/7 all month for just $7.  

 

It's soooo good, you're not going to want to log off.  You'll skip meals, stay up all night, and forget to feed your dog.  Don't even think about wasting time on shaving, showering, or doing laundry.   Your family can visit you when they log in.  Don't worry about your health, in the VR world, you'll always look good.  

 

So, if (when) someone invents such a thing, it would be awesome fun.  It would also be addictive and potentially harmful.  For the sake of argument, let's say 40% of the people who play become so addicted that they suffer a significant negative impact to their physical and/or mental well-being, as judged by non-players.  They don't go crazy and hurt other people...they just tend to stop caring about anything other than the imaginary VR world. 

 

If (when) such a thing exists, should it be illegal?   Is that a liberal position or a conservative position, or does left/right not apply to something like this? 

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On 9/24/2019 at 5:29 PM, rrober49 said:

 

I think the liberals would suggest moderation on the state or federal level and conservatives wouldn't care much until then

 

 the other two parties would be accessing a tool to reach potential voters as they quibbled about it  

 

 

I think the Democrats would want to make it illegal.  They're against all things that are unhealthy and they believe government has the right to intervene.  I was hoping to find someone who would stand up and say it should be illegal, so I could argue with them (I just like to argue).  Personally, I think a person should be free to do whatever makes them happy so long as they don't bother others.  If that means being online 24/7 until they starve to death, well that's their business, not the government's.   Show a warning, make them sign a release from liability, and let 'em play.

 

I think something like this (VR addiction) will be a major issue in my lifetime.  I think general online addiction is already a real affliction with many negative side effects.  It's only going to get worse.

 

I'm not sure what Republicans would do if they had to decide first.  But, you're right, as soon as Democrats want to do something, Republicans will want to do the opposite.

 

I hadn't thought about it as a way to reach voters.  But, it wouldn't matter much unless there's a way to vote online.

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On 9/24/2019 at 2:56 PM, Renegade said:

For the sake of argument, let's say 40% of the people who play become so addicted that they suffer a significant negative impact to their physical and/or mental well-being, as judged by non-players.  They don't go crazy and hurt other people...they just tend to stop caring about anything other than the imaginary VR world. 

 

I think the government has the right to intervene and regulate. Since the internet goes everywhere, it's an essentially federal issue, via interstate commerce.

 

The question made me think and I want to explore the limits.  Let's assume that VR addiction will happen to some people but not to all people.  Some just won't like it very much and some will refuse to do it at all.

 

So the question will be about "how many?" and "how severe?".

 

At one limit, if 80% of the population is - literally - at death's door in their bedrooms, the government needs to act fast and shut it down. We have a principle of not interfering in private behavior, but that principle doesn't include shutting down the country because almost everyone is having VR sex with either Scarlett Johansson or Chris Hemsworth.

 

At the other limit, if it's 5%, it becomes something for which you can create public service announcements.  "This is you on VR", announced as part of VR programming.  We allow smoking, alcohol use, and there are plenty of people that feed their children a diet that's unhealthily full of McDunghill, Wendretch, and Chunder King. Those aren't illegal even though they damage people and society.

 

But we do try to educate parents and will take children away from parents that abuse them by not feeding them appropriately.  So we can probably take children away from parents that allow the kids to be in VR almost all day, to the exclusion of school and meals.

 

Anyway the question was about 40%.  That's a good question because it's kind of in the difficult middle.  Society won't shut down, but a significant number of people will no longer function properly. It becomes like heroin addiction except that heroin addicts will pay anything and will steal or kill to get it.

 

The premise of this question is:

 

On 9/24/2019 at 2:56 PM, Renegade said:

You get to go where you want and do what you want, all for a tiny fraction of what real life costs.  I only charge $0.01 per hour.  You could stay logged in 24/7 all month for just $7. 

 

I'm not sure that's realistic.  In this society, companies charge what the market will bear. If 40% of the people want it so much that they do it to the exclusion of everything else, companies can charge much more, at a price point where they maximize their profits but not the subscription numbers. Fewer subscribers but the higher price means greater profit. If you can get 40% at 1 cent / hour, you can get also 40% at 10 cents / hour. And probably 20% at $1 / hour. Much more profit with fewer subscribers. If it's so good, it should cost more than cable+internet+phone.

 

Why would it cost only $0.01 per hour?  The only reason, I imagine, is if it was being offered at that price point for the express purpose of destroying the society. In that case I'd have no problem limiting it to specific uses, and banning it otherwise.

 

The government shouldn't really intervene if a small number of people want to destroy themselves. But it really should intervene if some group wants to destroy society by destroying a large segment of it.

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I think there are already plenty of addictive games where it does affect some folks adversely. Many folks are somewhat addictive to using their smart phones as well as social media. 

Social Media is already a trillion dollar industry and it's free to use. I wouldn't support banning the VR per say, but I already do support breaking up monopolies.

 

Peace! 

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Another thing regarding this post. I support taxing things that are bad for you. I was for legalization of marijuana in California, but not because I use it - I have not since the late seventies. 

I supported it because people use it and I don't think they should go to jail for that. Since it has been legalized in California I have started to read how it is much more potent than the stuff that was before, during the sixties and seventies. And also that the new potent stuff has dangerous affect on middle aged, and younger brains. So it does need to be tightly regulated. Like alcohol we need to keep it out of the hands of the youth - this is where parents come in / but also this is where regulation as well as taxation comes in. 

 

Also, we need to stop the monopolies on all sorts of commodities from taking hold. What happens is they get so big and before you know it they create this big lobbying arm which causes all kinds of calamities. 

 

So, Tax soda filled with sugar - sure, I'm okay with that. 

Tax gasoline and the use of fossil fuel - yes, as long as it isn't regressive - actually it should be the opposite where the government makes an allotment to give poor people back a dividend from the tax revenues they receive.

 

 

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10 hours ago, laripu said:

So the question will be about "how many?" and "how severe?".

 

At one limit, if 80% of the population is - literally - at death's door in their bedrooms, the government needs to act fast and shut it down.

 

I said 40%, but I didn't do much to quantify "significant negative impact".  Let's say one or more of the following: poor nutrition, poor hygiene, no exercise, missing work, lack of sleep, and reduced real-life social contacts.  Addicted people will be less productive members of society and experience a statistically shorter lifespan.

 

On the other hand, they're happier than they were without the VR world.   Doesn't that matter?  Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?   

 

10 hours ago, laripu said:

I think the government has the right to intervene and regulate. Since the internet goes everywhere, it's an essentially federal issue, via interstate commerce.

 

Yes, I don't think there are any constitutional issues that would prevent government intervention. 

 

10 hours ago, laripu said:

Why would it cost only $0.01 per hour? 

 

The 40% number referred to how many get completely addicted.  Others will play occasionally without becoming addicted.  $7 per month is an introductory rate to get people hooked build a customer base.    I think Netflix started out around $8 per month with unlimited viewing.  Within a few years, my VR world game is going to have 10 times as many subscribers as Netflix, so there's plenty of revenue to be had without raising prices too much.  If I charge too much, people are forced to go back to the real world and I'll lose customers.  Plus, I'll gain in so many other ways than what I charge directly, just as Google has earned billions without charging anything for searches.

 

10 hours ago, laripu said:

The government shouldn't really intervene if a small number of people want to destroy themselves. But it really should intervene if some group wants to destroy society by destroying a large segment of it.

 

My goal is not to destroy society, but to re-invent it...online.  Real life is so 20th century.  In the future, people will live most of their lives online as kings and queens in my virtual world.  They'll only return to the dreary, mundane, impoverished, polluted, real world when they absolutely must.   It's a new and improved plane of existence.  The real world will become like the sewers and farms of today...dirty and necessary, but taken for granted and ignored by most people.  Everything important will happen in VR.

 

There will be benefits for society too.  With people living online, demand for real-world goods and services will fall precipitously.  Pollution, traffic, resource drain...all significantly reduced.  Virtual goods and services are much easier on the environment.

 

Sure, the economy will suffer and jobs will be lost.  But, that's ok since fewer people will want to work anyway.  They can give up the 3-bedroom home for a cubicle with broadband (slightly better than what Neo had before he woke up in the first Matrix movie).  What more do they need?  They'll save 80% on living expenses.  Who needs to pay for restaurant food when VR world can make spam taste like caviar?  That's a bad example...I'd rather have spam.   But, you get the idea?

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2 hours ago, TheOldBarn said:

I think there are already plenty of addictive games where it does affect some folks adversely. Many folks are somewhat addictive to using their smart phones as well as social media. 

Social Media is already a trillion dollar industry and it's free to use.

 

Yes, it's happening already.  My wife plays Second Life for hours every day.  My kids can't have dinner without checking their phones.  My granddaughter (not yet 1) loves to facetime on our phones.  This is only the beginning.

 

2 hours ago, TheOldBarn said:

I wouldn't support banning the VR per say, but I already do support breaking up monopolies.

 

Monopolies are bad.  But, how do you have a shared VR experience without a monopoly?  It'll be like Facebook.  Replicating Facebook's technology would be trivial, but no one would use it because all their friends are on Facebook.  It'll be the same with VR.  Whoever builds the killer ap first will win due to the networking effect.  

 

1 hour ago, TheOldBarn said:

I support taxing things that are bad for you.

 

Why do you get to decide what's bad for me?  Why can't I decide that?

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3 hours ago, Renegade said:

 

 

 

 

Monopolies are bad.  But, how do you have a shared VR experience without a monopoly?  It'll be like Facebook.  Replicating Facebook's technology would be trivial, but no one would use it because all their friends are on Facebook.  It'll be the same with VR.  Whoever builds the killer ap first will win due to the networking effect.  

 

 

Why do you get to decide what's bad for me?  Why can't I decide that?

Well you be best to understand that the world is populated by over 8 billion now. 

Hey you, how do you get off telling me I cannot be burning all my fossil fuel?

You should be aware that the carbon in the atmosphere is killing mother earth.

 

So who is it that decides. Great question. You are not free, not anyone is. Not anyone ever was. 

Where do you really want to start off with a broad spectrum question like that whenever feeling the urge

to do whatever it is that you feel is okay without giving a damn about what others think?

 

3 hours ago, Renegade said:

 

Yes, it's happening already.  My wife plays Second Life for hours every day.  My kids can't have dinner without checking their phones.  My granddaughter (not yet 1) loves to facetime on our phones.  This is only the beginning.

 

 

Monopolies are bad.  But, how do you have a shared VR experience without a monopoly?  It'll be like Facebook.  Replicating Facebook's technology would be trivial, but no one would use it because all their friends are on Facebook.  It'll be the same with VR.  Whoever builds the killer ap first will win due to the networking effect.  

 

 

Why do you get to decide what's bad for me?  Why can't I decide that?

 

3 hours ago, Renegade said:

 

Yes, it's happening already.  My wife plays Second Life for hours every day.  My kids can't have dinner without checking their phones.  My granddaughter (not yet 1) loves to facetime on our phones.  This is only the beginning.

 

Well they'll just have to deal with mom while they live in her home.

And get this kids, we're going to Burger King and you're all going to eat an impossible burger, with no TV, no music, no face time, no nothing. 

And oh btw, we be all going to a Bernie Sanders gathering where we will all learn as best we can about how the rich people screwed us all.

 

Don't ask me why. Instead go study up about history. 

16 hours ago, Renegade said:

 

I think the Democrats would want to make it illegal.  They're against all things that are unhealthy and they believe government has the right to intervene.  I was hoping to find someone who would stand up and say it should be illegal, so I could argue with them (I just like to argue).  Personally, I think a person should be free to do whatever makes them happy so long as they don't bother others.  If that means being online 24/7 until they starve to death, well that's their business, not the government's.   Show a warning, make them sign a release from liability, and let 'em play.

 

I think something like this (VR addiction) will be a major issue in my lifetime.  I think general online addiction is already a real affliction with many negative side effects.  It's only going to get worse.

 

I'm not sure what Republicans would do if they had to decide first.  But, you're right, as soon as Democrats want to do something, Republicans will want to do the opposite.

 

I hadn't thought about it as a way to reach voters.  But, it wouldn't matter much unless there's a way to vote online.

 

Don't you talk to me like that young man!!!

 

Peace!

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7 hours ago, Renegade said:

The 40% number referred to how many get completely addicted.  Others will play occasionally without becoming addicted.  $7 per month is an introductory rate to get people hooked build a customer base.    I think Netflix started out around $8 per month with unlimited viewing.  Within a few years, my VR world game is going to have 10 times as many subscribers as Netflix, so there's plenty of revenue to be had without raising prices too much.  If I charge too much, people are forced to go back to the real world and I'll lose customers.  Plus, I'll gain in so many other ways than what I charge directly, just as Google has earned billions without charging anything for searches.

 

But even at 1 can't per hour, there will be government surcharges. Since governments of either party don't want to make themselves non-existent, the surcharges will be sufficient to force people to have jobs. That being the case, the "introductory price" won't hold.

 

So even the 40% will have to have McJobs of some kind to support the VR addiction. So they'll also need to be presentable, so they'll need clothing and grooming products. While at their jobs they'll get hungry, so there will be food bought. The government will preserve itself and keep the economy going.

 

The best you can do is change the culture, and as you pointed out, it has already changed.

 

7 hours ago, Renegade said:

Monopolies are bad.  But, how do you have a shared VR experience without a monopoly?  It'll be like Facebook.  Replicating Facebook's technology would be trivial, but no one would use it because all their friends are on Facebook.  It'll be the same with VR.  Whoever builds the killer ap first will win due to the networking effect.  

 

Skype was first, and got mostly replaced. Remember Netscape Navigator? I really liked it before Internet Explorer, which I really liked before Chrome. I might change to Edge eventually.

 

The way you break up a VR monopoly is to get computer scientists to help with the writing of laws that force the VR app to completely expose its API, and possibly make databases public. Thereby making any competing app 100% compatible. Then they compete over the details of the environment they present. Maybe you get to smell the simulated Scarlett Johansson in the new improved company B's implementation.

 

Eventually they all do the same things, but with a slightly different feel that will attract some users to one and some to the other. In one simulation she smells like roses, but in a competing one she smells like roast pork. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

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6 hours ago, TheOldBarn said:

Well you be best to understand that the world is populated by over 8 billion now. 

Hey you, how do you get off telling me I cannot be burning all my fossil fuel?

You should be aware that the carbon in the atmosphere is killing mother earth.

 

Burning fossil fuel damages the environment for others.  Turning into a vegetable from living in the VR world doesn't hurt anyone else.  In fact, vegetative humans would put less stress on the environment.

 

6 hours ago, TheOldBarn said:

So who is it that decides. Great question. You are not free, not anyone is. Not anyone ever was. 

Where do you really want to start off with a broad spectrum question like that whenever feeling the urge

to do whatever it is that you feel is okay without giving a damn about what others think?

 

We can be free...in the VR world.  All the dangers and restrictions of the real world need not apply.  

 

Back in the day, conservatives wanted to make everything illegal...drugs, alcohol, premarital sex, dancing, adultery, homosexuality, and more.  It's not good for you, they said.  It's bad for society, they said.   If it's too much fun, it must be bad. 

 

6 hours ago, TheOldBarn said:

Well they'll just have to deal with mom while they live in her home.

And get this kids, we're going to Burger King and you're all going to eat an impossible burger, with no TV, no music, no face time, no nothing. 

And oh btw, we be all going to a Bernie Sanders gathering where we will all learn as best we can about how the rich people screwed us all.

Don't you talk to me like that young man!!!

 

Lol!   You're no fun!   Like it or not, kids are growing up 'plugged in'.  

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3 hours ago, laripu said:

But even at 1 can't per hour, there will be government surcharges. Since governments of either party don't want to make themselves non-existent, the surcharges will be sufficient to force people to have jobs.

 

Are there "government surcharges" on using Google or Facebook or Netflix?  

 

Sure, you'll still have bills to pay, but they will be less than half of what you pay now.  So, you'll have more options.  You could work like you do now and then retire at 40.  Or, you could work 2 days a week.  Or, you could tele-work for a few hours a week.  You won't need to bust your butt trying to get that $100k job anymore.  You'll live like a king on $20k.

 

3 hours ago, laripu said:

That being the case, the "introductory price" won't hold.

 

Why not?  Google is still free to use.  More than half the internet is free to use.  I could probably make money off this without charging users anything at all.  

 

3 hours ago, laripu said:

So even the 40% will have to have McJobs of some kind to support the VR addiction. So they'll also need to be presentable, so they'll need clothing and grooming products. While at their jobs they'll get hungry, so there will be food bought. The government will preserve itself and keep the economy going.

 

Certainly,  in the beginning this will be true.  But, once we get UBI, that should be sufficient for a VR-head to live on.  

 

The real world economy will continue, with less importance.  Just as farming went from 90% of employment to 1.7% and manufacturing from 32% to 8%, so will all the rest of the real world economy dwindle into insignificance.  The things that matter to people's happiness will happen online in the VR world.   

 

3 hours ago, laripu said:

The best you can do is change the culture, and as you pointed out, it has already changed.

 

Culture is a movie, not a snapshot.  Don't think "it has already changed".  Think  "it is changing".  What you see now is an intermediate stage, not an end state.  This virtualization trend is still in its infancy.   Whoever gets there first and stakes out the high ground could end up being the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.

 

3 hours ago, laripu said:

The way you break up a VR monopoly is to get computer scientists to help with the writing of laws that force the VR app to completely expose its API, and possibly make databases public. Thereby making any competing app 100% compatible. Then they compete over the details of the environment they present. Maybe you get to smell the simulated Scarlett Johansson in the new improved company B's implementation.

 

Eventually they all do the same things, but with a slightly different feel that will attract some users to one and some to the other. In one simulation she smells like roses, but in a competing one she smells like roast pork. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

 

Hey!  Don't ruin my monopoly.  You didn't do that to Facebook!  

 

That would certainly reduce my personal power.  But, I don't see how it would help with society's addiction problem.  If anything, competition would produce a better product at lower prices which would be even more addictive.

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On 9/26/2019 at 9:42 AM, Renegade said:

I hadn't thought about it as a way to reach voters.  But, it wouldn't matter much unless there's a way to vote online.

 

 I would pay the developers to put my campaign adds in your game 

 

when you walked into room posters would have my name, the voice coming out of TV's would be to vote for me, the billboards on the street all about me 

 

me.. me..me ... me too

 

 I wouldn't use it to vote. I would use to get your vote 

 

 

 what about the kids starving with said addict , they should have choices or a chance ? they seem to be the ones that suffer the effects the worst,  with the the least ability to exercise their rights or access them 

 

 I would have to place a limit in order to help them, would prefer not too but at 40% I think I would need to 

 

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13 hours ago, rrober49 said:

 what about the kids starving with said addict , they should have choices or a chance ? they seem to be the ones that suffer the effects the worst,  with the the least ability to exercise their rights or access them 

 

 I would have to place a limit in order to help them, would prefer not too but at 40% I think I would need to 

 

Addicted parents is tragic.  Whether it's alcohol or drugs or gambling or whatever, it's inexpressibly sad that some parents value their children so little. Yes, VR addiction will no doubt mean extra work for child welfare departments.

 

By "place a limit", do you mean that you would limit online time for parents?  Korea has a law that prevents children under the age of 16 from online gaming between midnight and 6 AM.  Are you suggesting something similar for parents?  

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On 9/29/2019 at 6:43 AM, Renegade said:

By "place a limit", do you mean that you would limit online time for parents?  Korea has a law that prevents children under the age of 16 from online gaming between midnight and 6 AM.  Are you suggesting something similar for parents?  

 

you could play it all you want in arcades 

 

40% addiction rate would be the whole world addicted after two or three  generation, my answer reflects that

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The future is coming for us.

 

Quote

The makers of Fortnite have been accused in a lawsuit of designing the online video game to be addictive. The Canadian lawsuit, which seeks class action status, reportedly likens the game play to taking cocaine.

 

A legal notice was filed Friday in Quebec Superior Court accusing US-based Epic Games of designing the game specifically to hook users, Canada's Global News reported Friday. Players have had to seek treatment for their addiction, according to the complaint.

 

"The addiction to the Fortnite game has real consequences for the lives of players: Several don't eat or shower, and no longer socialize," the notice says. 

 

Fortnite, which allows up to 100 players to fight in a virtual battlefield, took 2018 by storm. It became one of the biggest free-to-play games on consoles ever, creating a cultural phenomenon that raked in $3 billion for developer Epic Games last year. The game has nearly 250 million users worldwide, the company said in March.

 

Jean-Philippe Caron, the lawyer who brought the lawsuit, told AFP the game's creators enlisted the help of "psychologists to help make the game addictive."

 

 cnet

 

What do you think about the lawsuit?

 

Is there a line between 'addictive' and 'really good'?   How is it different to make a product that customers love and a product that customers find addictive?  Would removing the addictive aspects of the game make it less enjoyable?  Do we really want courts to enforce making our entertainment less enjoyable?   Maybe we could force everyone to attend the opera instead.

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On 10/8/2019 at 6:25 AM, Renegade said:

What do you think about the lawsuit?

 

I think it will go no where but I know the gambling mechanics have already be dealt with ?

 

  more could of been done by the ESRB 

they could of come up with " +++G'  for gambling with real currency "

 

 Fortnite: Teen 13+  for violence  is the  ESRB rating

 

other games have had similar gambling mechanics before fortnite what role of accountability should the ESRB be held to ?

 

lawsuit needs to be filed against them more then the creators   from my point of view

 

 

 

 

 PS: playing fortnite now :) 

 

 

 

 

 

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