Cyberculture, cyborg post-modernism and the sociology of virtual reality technologies

Ralph Schroeder
1994 Futures : The journal of policy, planning and futures studies  
The relation between humans and machines has come to assume a central place within the social sciences, particularly in debates about the role of science and about information technologies. Cyberculture plays a key role in these debates, drawing its inspiration in large part from virtual reality systems. This article examines the affinities between two aspects of cyberculture: cyborg post-modernism, which revolves around the notion that the boundaries between humans and machines are becoming
more » ... etrievably blurred, and the cyberpunk movement within youth culture with its futuristic ideas about information and communication machines. While cyberculture may be far ahead of the current state of the technology, it is argued here that its new conception of the relation between politics, technology and art is an important reflection of changes within the cultural industries that surround information and communication technologies within advanced societies. 'Every need to which reality denies satisfaction compels to belief.' J. W. von Goethe (1809)' The idea behind virtual reality (VR) technologies, of a computer-generated simulated world which users can experience and manipulate, first surfaced in the 1 9bOs.2 Only recently, however, with the increase in computing power, has it become possible to Dr Ralph Schroeder is lecturer in sociology in
doi:10.1016/0016-3287(94)90133-3 fatcat:twwwzdbhuzhlfgdsb6iscwkooe