Futuribles Journal n° 214

Recherche, sciences, techniques - Société, modes de vie

Réel-virtuel : la confusion du sens


Virtual/Reality: The Confusion of Meaning
Information and communications technology are developing very rapidly, integrating text, image and sound in multimedia (which include the so-called industries of simulation) to create the "real" virtual spaces in which we are more and more immersed. The immersion is so complete, Chantal Lebrun tells us, that the frontier between virtual and real runs the risk of disappearing completely, leaving us without the essential guideposts of space and time.
She warns us that the confusion between real and virtual is liable to give rise to some real crises of meaning, if not to full-blown insanity. She uses a psychoanalytic model to show how personality is shaped by the triangular dynamism among the real, the imaginary and the symbolic, pointing out how much it can be thrown off balance when the virtual is confused with the real, thus taking away the role of reality as filter to an unbridled imagination.

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