[Writing Under the Influence] EPISODE O: Virtual Reality

The thought that everything affects everything else is a truism. So the whole world is culpable of its own state at any given time (a Buddhist perspective, perhaps).

But when Aevi focuses on games, it’s like he is in another world. He’s not putting on any headgears but is in a Virtual Reality by the sheer power of attention. Which makes everything else virtual in comparison. That is why it bothers him so much when I tell him to stop. Meanwhile, we get absorbed in books or movies in the same manner. Once absorbed in one reality, the other realities feel virtual (like a dream).

The problem of absorption is the problem of reality. Depending on the degree of absorption, reality becomes layered. Absorption is always at work behind any observation. Absorption or immersion—the naturalization of particular circumstances that could be otherwise but appear not to.

Although everything influences everything else, the necessity to describe things, to compose a finite statement always occurs in relation to the particular reality one is most deeply absorbed in. So the degree of specificity is always situated—not universal, and always in relation to a particular audience who shares that reality. It is a matter of act. Therefore although the chain of influence is infinite, it is always finite in actual expressions because of the finiteness (situatedness) of the situation which calls for that specific expression.