"Every scientist worth his salt that I know of has read science fiction."
This is one of the key ideas in the second Star Trek series.
The Star Trek holodeck is a virtual environment that provides infinitely varied participatory, interactive entertainment in a very small space. On Federation starships, stressed crewmembers need to have some sort of outlet for exercise and entertainment. (After all, they face certain death every week - every night in some markets!)
The holodeck combines several key technologies to create an environment in which crewmembers can physically participate and interact in a staged drama in which they are the main characters:
See also Saga from The City and the Stars (1965) by Arthur C. Clarke and life chamber from The Chamber of Life (1929) by G. Peyton Wertenbaker.
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