Porn's Uncanny Valley
I wrote an article about virtual reality porn for The Atlantic: "Porn's Uncanny Valley." This is the second time I've experienced VR porn. It certainly is strange. In this article, I compare VR porn to real porn -- more specifically, how being immersed in VR porn compares to being on a porn movie set. One thing that you don't get with virtual reality, at least not at this point, is the smells. In reality, there are bodies, exerting themselves. In the virtual world, it's just bytes and programming.
On the computer screen before us, a 3-D rendering of a naked man was stomping around a virtual apartment. “I’m now in the body of a black, male performer with a 12-inch penis,” Adam announced. The virtual apartment’s decor was banal: a white coffee table next to a sofa, a bowl of oranges on the kitchen counter, an Oriental rug on the floor. But in the main room, the real porn star Casey Calvert had been digitally scanned and recreated as a digital doppelgänger. She was dancing around a stripper pole, grinding to the ominous chords of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.”
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