Latest Issue

Virtual reality is about to become a reality

The consumer release of immersive gaming headset the Oculus Rift, expected in 2014, will be the first step on the road to creating true virtual worlds

By Juan Mateos-Garcia  

Games developer Sergey Orlovskiy tests virtual reality headset the Oculus Rift. Photo: © Sergey Galyonkin


Virtual reality (VR)—defined by the OED as “the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way using special electronic equipment”—is a common trope in science fiction, from Neal Stephenson’s Metaverse, where users’ avatars interact with each other in a virtual world, to Star Trek’s Holodeck, a room where people and objects are simulated using holographic images, to The Matrix. VR…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect