When children are growing up, they face a profound conflict between the internal world of their dreams and imagination, in which everything’s possible and fluid, and the practical world in which they have parents, food, and friends, in which they’re not alone, and in which they can survive. So as kids grow up, they have to gradually de-emphasize this world of imagination and celebration and emphasize the practical world, unless they’re willing to be alone in their insanity and completely dependent on others for survival. Of course it’s possible to integrate the two, but it’s so hard, like walking a tightrope. I think the reason that kids instinctively love computers, and especially love virtual reality, is that it really does present a new solution, a way to make imaginary worlds that we can be together in, just like the real world.
JARON LANIER, Spin Magazine, November 1995.