The Dissociative Spectrum

Art by Rob Goldstein

Waves

Studies of people who use Virtual Reality as their primary form of entertainment show a spectrum of dissociation.

This idea of a spectrum of dissociation emerges as virtual reality becomes increasingly immersive and the dissociative process becomes more complete and easier to observe.

Clinical psychologist Sherry Turkle, suggests that the users of virtual reality are in a transition from “…a modernist culture of calculation toward a postmodernist culture of simulation.”

Turkle made these observations in 1996. They predate the advanced three-dimensional worlds that are easily available to the average user in 2015.

She wrote: “Windows have become a powerful metaphor for thinking about the self as a multiple, distributed system…The self is no longer simply playing different roles in different settings at different times. The life practice of windows is that of a decentered self that exists in many worlds, that plays many roles at the same time.”…

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