As technology improves, our ability to blur the lines between real and imaginary worlds progresses.
The use of “CG” (or “computer generated”) effects began some time ago. I remember watching the film “Tron” (1982) as a child. Though it looks primitive today, computers were used to create an entire universe in that film– interestingly, it was a universe inside a digital network.
George Lucas was a big proponent of CG effects, much to the chagrin of some of his fans. He was one of the first directors to add entire CG characters to a major film (such as in “Attack Of The Clones” ).
Early CG characters did not fare so well, in terms of popular reaction. Viewers could easily tell that the figures were “not real”– that they were generated, and did not belong to the visual universe of the film.
Years later, and CG has become eerily advanced. Older characters, from actors or actresses who have aged or died, are being digitally resurrected into films. For example, the Rachel character from “Blade Runner” (1982) reappeared in “Blade Runner 2049” (2017)– and did not age a day in several decades, by all appearances.
It is a powerful ability, to use computers to create nearly any imagined image. It has already been an issue in news media that doctored, “photoshopped” images have been mistaken for actual ones.
As a schizophrenic, I have trained myself to doubt my senses. Perhaps we are approaching a time when we all will have to question what we experience.
If virtual reality catches on (and I believe that it will), I wonder how much of a grasp of the authentic, material world we will retain?