Season 3, Ep 8: Unlocking the Intimacy Between People Through VR with Peter Rubin of WIRED

While the internet has been ground-breaking in terms of connecting people to information, it has done a poor job of connecting us to each other. Stories of fake news and harassment are widespread, and the anonymity of the platform allows individuals to curate a persona very different from who they are in real life. By contrast, virtual reality translates our mannerisms and voices, providing a shared experience in which we sound and act like ourselves. The unique property of VR is in its ability to unlock—accelerate, even—the intimacy between people that we rarely experience in real life anymore.

Peter Rubin oversees WIRED’s cultural coverage and serves as editorial lead on its digital platforms. In 2014, his cover story on Oculus introduced readers to the rebirth of virtual reality, and he has since written extensively about the evolution of VR and its applications. Peter has ten-plus years of experience as a journalist, writing for GQ, Details, and Good, among many other publications. His book, Future Presence: How Virtual Reality is Changing Human Connection, Intimacy, and the Limits of Ordinary Life, was published in April of 2018.

Peter sits down with us to share his long-time interest in VR that began with watching films like The Lawnmower Man and reading Snow Crash as a teen. He discusses the theme of his book, Future Presence, describing VR’s unique ability to facilitate connection among people. We cover the differences between the internet and virtual reality, why people feel more accountable in the VR space, and how regulation might work in virtual communities. Listen in for Peter’s insight on the future of XR and learn how virtual experiences can change our lives in the world outside the headset.

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