192 Emancipation from Death random cues of genetic mutation, our bodies would slowly evolve, gradually becoming something different. In contrast, we humans are highly intelligent creatures and have reached the point where we can take the future develop- ment of our bodies into our own hands. Using our minds and the marvelous tools we are now making, we can produce a new form – or many new forms – for the body. We can design to suit our own purposes and preferences. In the past, engineers developing new prototypes for air- craft, automobiles, or ocean liners would create scale models and then evaluate the performance of their concepts in wind tunnels  or  other  testing  media.  Modern  engineers  find  it easier, cheaper, and more effective to do the same type of test- ing  in  simulated  environments.  Using  powerful  computers and highly sophisticated software programs, they can learn precisely how their creations will perform under a variety of conditions. As a way of experimenting with possible new designs for your posthuman body, you will likely do the same thing. Instead of going to the trouble of building your new body molecule by molecule and then determining whether it is satisfactory, you can create a simulation in a virtual reality environment and test it there. The exciting difference is that you will not be limited to observing the simulation as are today’s engineers. Rather, you will be able to inhabit your virtual body and know firsthand how it will react, perform, and feel. The next step is obvious. If the simulation is powerful enough, the  experience  of  occupying  the  simulated  body  should  be indistinguishable from conventional physical reality; it will be virtually the same – hence the name ‘virtual reality’. Then why not just live there? Assuming you can have all the experiences of the ‘real’ world – plus many more that you could never have – and that you will still be able to see and touch and interact with the people you love, why not just stay?