To make sure that virtual reality technology is used in the right way, the director of seminal VR film The Lawnmower Man, Brett Leonard, has developed what he is calling the "5 Laws of VR".
In an exclusive interview with techradar, he has shared these laws for the first time, explaining that while he has created them for his latest fictional project The Futurist, he does feel that rules for virtual reality will be needed going forward.
"This is something that I need to get out there because the stakes are high," he told techradar.
"I have experienced the most advanced VR out there and it can change your brain chemistry. The creators of this new medium need to be creating an ethical framework.
"The good news is that when I talk at VR conferences, the millennials there completely understand that there needs to be an ethical framework."
The 5 laws of VR
With this i mind, here are the five laws of VR, in Leonard's own words...
"I use the word 'law' loosely, mostly as an homage to Isaac Asimov's 3 Laws of Robotics. Like Asimov's 'Laws', I have written the 'Five Laws of VR' in a fictional context, for the lead character in a VR Game/TV series project entitled The Futurist.
"This is something I am developing with producer/writer Rob Weiss [Entourage and Ballers], and the new VR game company The Rogue Initiative, headed by Pete Blumel [formally lead producer for Infinity Ward's "Call of Duty" game series]," says Leonard.
"I primarily offer these 'laws' as a means to stimulate discussion about the issue of creating an ethical framework for this amazing and powerful new medium of Virtual Reality."
VR LAW 1: Take it seriously!
"Don't underestimate the potential power of Virtual Reality to greatly affect Actual Reality."
VR LAW 2: empathy not alienation
"VR must be designed to connect humans with more empathy and intimacy, not alienate them from each other to a greater degree than already exists."
VR LAW 3: VR is a new paradigm
"The rules governing VR must be organic to the medium itself, not simply modified from earlier paradigms of reality."
VR LAW 4: VR must be the ultimate 'safe space'
"Virtual reality needs to be a safe space to express ideas, even those that are considered 'dangerous'. It is THE medium to express and experience the far reaches of human imagination!"
VR LAW 5: The stakes are high!
"VR must be the medium to awaken the inter-connected consciousness and freedom of the emerging Global Human. If not, it could be the ultimate medium of Global Control."