VR and hallucination: a technoetic perspective | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1477-965X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9533


Virtual Reality (VR), especially in a technologically focused discourse, is defined by a class of hardware and software, among them head-mounted displays (HMD); navigation and pointing devices; and stereoscopic imaging. This presentation examines an experiential aspect of VR. Putting virtual in front of reality modifies the ontological status of a class of experience that of reality. Reality has also been modified (by artists, new media theorists, technologists and philosophers) as augmented, mixed, simulated, artificial, layered and enhanced. Modifications of reality are closely tied to modifications of perception. Media theorist Roy Ascott creates a model of three VRs: verifiable reality, virtual reality and vegetal (entheogenically induced) reality. The ways in which we shift our perceptual assumptions, create and verify illusions and enter the willing suspension of disbelief that allows us entry into imaginal worlds is central to the experience of VR worlds, whether those worlds are explicitly representational (robotic manipulations) or explicitly imaginal (artistic creations). The early rhetoric surrounding VR was interwoven with psychedelics, a perception amplified by Timothy Leary's presence on the historic SIGGRAPH panel, and the tag of VR as electronic LSD. This article discusses the connections philosophical, social-historical and psychological-perceptual between these two domains.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error