A. Kiepas, M. Sułkowska, M. Wołek (red.), "Człowiek a światy wirtualne" (S. 11-30). Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego.
The author assumes that the technology of virtual reality which is a multimedia phenomenon of an “open source” type is treated by the new media users in two different ways: as an artificially generated “space” able to evoke a total illusion, and as an artificial prototype of real places and worlds allowing for testing reality. Characterizing two pillars of virtuality, i.e. perception and simulation, the author proves that the virtual reality is a special kind of perception as it is based on the “ontological movement” , eliminating the sense of distance to the perceived world, and is a special kind of simulation as it matches perception to the human needs becoming more an expression of the one who recognizes than the process of cognition alone. It finds the conclusions made by Jos de Mul specially accurate. He claims that the very phenomenon has its own reality, and what differentiates it from traditional forms of representation, such as painting or film, is not the fact that apart from representation it refers to the real worlds, but the fact that it constitutes a different kind of beingin- the world. In conclusion, the author notices that multimedia virtuality, following Wolfgang Welsch’s terminology, is transversal, namely reality and virtuality permeate in human experiences whereas the borders between them are becoming more and more unstable or even totally blurred from time to time. Transversality is proved by, among others, such facts as disappointment with the attempts of a deep (fully sensual) emersion in an artificial surrounding, and a fast increasing popularity of “Second Life” in which people construct their virtual identities in a conscious way.