A fascinating exploration of the history, development, and future of virtual reality, a technology with world-changing potential, written by award-winning journalist and author David Ewalt, stemming from his 2015 Forbes cover story about the Oculus Rift and its creator Palmer Luckey.Technology has often progressed in leaps and bounds, with life-altering consequences for humankind. From the telegraph to the television set to the internet and now we are confronted by the rise of virtual reality, aka VR. No longer just a mainstay of science fiction, VR has seen recent success with companies such as Oculus, Sony, and HTC. But little is known about its history, which reaches back decades. David Ewalt chronicles its origins in Cold War military laboratories, and traces it through decades of hype and failed products, to a nineteen-year-old video game aficionado from California whose advancements made the recent breakthroughs in VR possible. Turning to the future, Ewalt discusses the Silicon Valley giants who are now creating a new hundred-billion-dollar industry.It's a tale of booms and busts, of fortunes built and lost, and one teenage genius who succeeded where everyone else had failed. Writing for a mainstream audience as well as technology enthusiasts, Ewalt offers a unique perspective on how VR (as we will come to know it) got here, where it's going, and how and why it will change the way we live. Rife with first-hand accounts and on-the-ground reporting, Defying Reality makes the argument that virtual reality has the potential to impact every aspect of our social and indepedent lives, from gaming and entertainment to commerce to medicine to warfare, and much more.From the Hardcover edition.