virtual reality: the perfect reality?

I remembered reading a while back that it was theoretically possible to wire images, sounds, sensations, etc, into directly into our brains without the need for googles, speakers, etc. Sorry, I don’t have a cite for this.
Anyhow, then came Scott Adams’ observation in one of his Dilbert cartoons that “when virtual reality gets cheaper than dating, we’re all doomed”.

I started thinking about a society where everyone was under virtual reality, and the obvious benefits that would result. People wouldn’t need fancy, or even cooked, food. You could feed them through IV or have a life support system that automatically shovels some sort of tasteless (but nutritious) paste into their bodies, and you wouldn’t even need much of it, since people wouldn’t use their bodies at all. Everyone would be hooked up to the system 24/7 for life. You could build machines that would handle all the necessary care of the system.
Since each person’s Real Life needs are at an absolute minimum, the benefits to the planet would be enormous. No more gas guzzling polluting vehicles. You wouldn’t even need roads, or individual dwellings. Pollution would be at an absolute minimum. No more wars, no more poor, no more hungry.

Yes, I realize my vision is frighteningly close to the Matrix series of movies. But what if the Machines were right, and virtual reality is the perfect answer to the destructiveness of human nature?

You wouldn’t necessarily have to model the landscape of the VR on the real world either. You could create anything you wanted. You could even have several different versions, a low tech version where things are simpler (1950’s level of technology), a high tech version where theres flying cars or even flying people.
One massive area or smaller instances, the possibilities are endless. IMO, people should have to sustain themselves through some type of job, just as in real life. Work is good for the soul :wink: But you could really get creative about what’s possible in a virtual reality.

So, if the technology were possible, would this be a good idea? What would be the drawbacks? The only thing I can think of off the top of my head would be Real Life advances in technology would stop, since there is no way to simulate the unknown in virtual reality. The VR would be modeled after everything we know about real life to this point. Of course people would be able to create new things, new technologies (within the VR world) to a certain extent, but most likely not things that would actually be able to exist in the real universe (gender swapping machines, the ability to fly).