Week 3: Cyberspace

 

Is cyberspace a place you can physically visit?

The term cyberspace first came to life in the novel by William Gibson called Neuromancer. In this world, the main protagonist, Cas, would visit this world and refer to it as a place, that place being cyberspace.
In another fictional novel Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, his characters face the same world. In this dystopian cyberpunk world the characters enter a Virtual Reality cyberspace called the OASIS, which is virtually like the Matrix.
While they don’t physically go there they enter th e space through the machine and become an extension of themselves (but better because of advanced technology). These technologies are socially shaped but that society is not technologically shaped.
Michael Heim (2011, p.240) explains cyberspace through the user which he describes as a cybernaut. He states that, “the cybernaut seated before us, strapped in sensory input devices, appears to be, and is indeed, lost to this world. Suspended in computer space, the cybernaut leaves the body and emerges in a world of digital sensation.”
While cyberspace isn’t a place that one can physically go to and visit it seems that it is a place of escapism of the mind and mentally people do travel there and stay for a short time.

 

References:

Gibson, William (1984) Neuromancer, New York City, Ace.
Cline, Ernest (2010) Ready Player One, New York City, Random House.
Lister, Martin et al (2009) New Media: a critical introduction,  London: Routledge, 237-42, 281-3.

 

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