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Brook Greening
Jackson Snider
Mr Gross
English 12 A (1)
13 November 14
Virtual Reality
Technology is always changing. One of the evolutionary improvements in technology is
the use of virtual reality. It is not just a silly video game that children play; there is serious,
productive value that comes from it. Virtual reality has many benefits to society. It has been a
great addition to the medical field. Highly noted in the military, it is used to train soldiers and
keep them safe. However, the technology that goes into virtual reality is costly, which in turn
decreases its value. Virtual reality is not a thing of the future. It is happening now, and it is an
extreme aid to society.
Virtual reality has been a great addition to the medical field, particularly during
treatment. At Stanford's Department of Anesthesia, virtual reality technology is used in the
treatment and therapy process of children with Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (Heinrich 1).
The simulations allow the children to take their mind off the pain. The patients go through
simulations such as using an avatar to shoot bubbles, and by doing this exercise, it distracts the
individuals from feeling discomfort (1). Medical schools also benefit from it in how they study
anatomy. Rather than cutting into the dead corpses of animals or humans, there are virtual reality
systems that are based on pictures from medical imaging technology like Computerized
Tomography (The 1), allowing students to see organs from multiple angles and make virtual cuts
to them (1). Since virtual reality is used, the dissections can be practiced multiple times, unlike

an actual dissection. This decreases the chance of messing up on patients in an actual surgical
Another advantage to virtual reality is its valuable use in training. The United States
military spends four billion dollars a year on simulations and training equipment that has some
form of virtual reality implemented (The 1).These programs allow commanders to plan out
battles by simulating different types of combat tactics that maneuver virtual army unit soldiers
over thousands of square miles of ground (1).This provides a higher level of intelligence for the
armed forces. The United States Defense Science Board concluded that lower casualties in
military actions in the 1990s were largely contributed to the use of virtual simulators and
training (1). These advances in technology have bestowed a higher level of safety for the
soldiers. Better training and fewer deaths results in a more efficient military.
Virtual reality is very costly. The first system introduced in the medical field known as a
CAVE cost upwards of 2 million dollars (State 1). However, all new technology will be very
costly. CAVE is a technology in the medical field that includes a 320 degree, 8-foot-high theater
screen that has a 3-dimensional look into a doctors data (1). Since then, the equipment has had a
drop in prices and an extreme grow in the technology used. Now, doctors use the next generation
of the technology called the CAVE2. This technology was recently used to help solve a problem
in the brain arteries of a living patient. The professor of Bioengineering and lead researcher of
the project Andreas Linninger stated, "We had been looking at computer models of a particular
patient's brain for several months, but within five minutes of putting the model into the CAVE2,
the chief endovascologist said we had connected certain arteries in a way that was inconsistent
with anatomy."(1). This small change helped to solve many issues and lives in stroke victims.

Virtual reality may not be cost effective, but when it is a matter of life or death, cost does not
Virtual reality has a wide range in its productivity. The different types of simulations are
becoming a larger part of everyday life. It may be used for simple fun purposes such as video
gaming. A more serious use is its benefit to the medical field. The different types of systems can
also help prepare soldiers for military training. Even if the technology is expensive to fund it can
ultimately be a factor on whether people live or die. That is why virtual reality is a benefit to

Works Cited

"Research Areas." Web. 10 Nov. 2014. <

"Science Clarified." The Virtual Classroom: Virtual Reality in Training and Education. Web. 11
Nov. 2014. <>.
"Virtual Reality: Its Not Just for Video games." Fortune. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.