NEW YORK—Using the rapidly evolving technology to push the boundaries of how people interact with the acclaimed writer and economist, The New York Times released a virtual reality program Friday that takes users inside the immersive, 3D world of Paul Krugman. “Once the VR headset is activated, the user will find themself seemingly transported to the immediate vicinity of our Nobel Prize–winning columnist,” said New York Times Company president and CEO Mark Thompson, adding that the computer-generated environment would allow, for the very first time, a full 360-degree view of Krugman and enable users to pan the entire length of his body from the top of his head to his shoes. “Readers, who for almost 20 years could get no closer than words on a page, can now experience Paul Krugman from mere inches away. While there still isn’t an artificial intelligence component that enables the simulated Krugman to do anything except stand in place and blink, fiber-optic glove sensors will nevertheless allow users the tactile enjoyment of stroking his beard or the sleeve of his suit jacket.” At press time, Paul Krugman himself was reportedly using the VR program for hours on end.