"We're about 20 minutes away from the point where Clarke's law kicks in and technology becomes indistinguishable from magic."
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:
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