"New technologies and the progress they bring can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality. The image can also become independent from reality, it can give birth to a virtual world, with various consequences -- above all the risk of indifference towards real life," the pope said.
As if on cue, researchers with the University in Ilmenau's Department of Virtual Worlds and Digital Games in Germany have made what they call a Diminishing Reality System. It's a program that can make real, live objects disappear from a live video. So - you see a coffee cup on your desk. It's really there, but when you use a video camera or smartphone with this program, you can erase the object as you're filming it in real time.