January 9, 2017
First there was the Motion picture, then there were 3D Movies, now there is Virtual Reality. Will Star Trek’s Holodeck be next?
Man has been using technology to retreat from reality and enter a world of the artist’s creation, for more than 100 years. The advancements came slowly at first; short films less than a minute in length arrived in 1889, followed by full length stories, all silent of course, and captured in black and white. Sound didn’t arrive until 1927 and colour didn’t really hit the commercial scene until 1939 with “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz.” Since that time, the quality of picture and sound has gone through many changes and advancements to arrive at the spectacular images being produced today.
3D movies appeared decades ago in the 1950’s and, in one variation or another, have hung around since, yet became a truly mainstream phenomenon when Avatar (Dec. 2009) became the first ever 3D film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Since then virtually every blockbuster is released in 3D.
The objective of 3D is to make the movie going experience more immersive, engaging the viewer in a way that conventional film cannot and large 3D televisions have brought the big screen experience into the home as well.
With the addition of high powered computers, the ability to escape reality has advanced to another level. Now you can escape reality by entering a virtual reality. Once you don the headset, and begin to look around – no matter what direction you look – left or right, up or down, the surroundings change, enabling you to interact with them. It is truly astounding.
Will future generations become so immersed in a virtual world that they no longer care for or function in the real world? Why are we drawn from reality to an artificial world in the first place?
I think the answer is found in understanding the effects of sin. Although the world is a wonderful place, created by God to serve its human caretakers, man’s sin has impacted his environment, as much as it has his own soul. Both are now fallen and in need of restoration. Jesus came to begin that restoration process. By paying the price for sin, Jesus has provided redemption for mankind and the world he occupies. All of creation, Paul notes, “Waits in eager anticipation for the sons of God to be revealed.” (Rom 8:19) When we, the Sons of God arise to our place on the earth, God is able to change the world through us; however, when we sit back and fail to show forth the majesty of God as He desires, humanity looks for a better reality somewhere else – in movies, 3D and virtual reality.
The reality of a Christ-filled life is better than anything we can produce with film or computer technology. It is fuller, richer and more rewarding than any product from Hollywood or Silicon Valley. As we begin a new year, let’s passionately pursue the Real Life, found only in Christ and make every effort to fill each day with His Glory… until He returns.