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"Modern science fiction is the only form of literature that consistently considers the nature of the changes that face us, the possible consequences, and the possible solutions."
- Isaac Asimov

Phantomatic Generator (Virtual Reality)  
  A computer-generated experience.  

What can a person connected to a phantomatic generator experience? Everything. He can climb the Alps, wander around the Moon without a spacesuit or an oxygen mask, conquer medieval towns or the North Pole while heading a committed team and wearing shining armor. He can be cheered by crowds as a marathon winner or the greatest poet of all time and receive a Nobel Prize from the hands of the Swedish king; he can love Madame de Pompadour and be loved back by her; he can enter into a duel with Iago to avenge Othello or get stabbed himself by Mafia hitmen. He can also experience enormous eagle’s wings growing on his back; he can fly and then become a fish again and spend his life on a coral reef; as a shark he can career with his mouth wide open toward his victims; he can even capture the swimmers, eat them with great relish, and digest them with gusto in a quiet corner of his underwater cave. […]

He can be a prophet, with an additional guarantee that all his prophecies will be fulfilled one-hundred percent; he can die and be resurrected many times over.

Technovelgy from Summa Technologiae, by Stanislaw Lem.
Published by Not Known in 1964
Additional resources -

Compare to the Telepadion Instructor from An Adventure on Eros (1931) by J. Harvey Haggard, the magic spectacles from Pygmalion's Spectacles (1935) by Stanley G. Weinbaum, the Saga technology from Arthur C. Clarke's The City and the Stars (1956) and by four and a half decades The Eden Cycle. I'd also mention the feelies from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932), although the feelies did not offer a fully immersive experience, and stimsim from William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984).

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Summa Technologiae
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  Tech news articles related to Summa Technologiae
  Tech news articles related to works by Stanislaw Lem

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