The Real World: Virtuality

By Jon Hillenbrand In Photography, Stories

Tonight on the Real World: Virtuality, we venture into cyberspace to watch real people presenting virtual people watching a real shuttle launch on a virtual movie screen constructed by real people virtually in a virtual world called Second Life.

As an outsider to this mega-project, I can easily say that all of the people addicted to Second Life need to get a Third Life, one that doesn’t involve the first two. But I have found myself giving into the real world peer pressure to join the virtual world of Facebook, which is a text and photos version of Second Life but without as much real time interactivity.

I have also found myself spending days designing texture graphics for models for video games. I justify it to myself by saying it gives me good practice with Photoshop, which it does. But in reality, whatever that means, I find it fun making rivets on tiny body panels and doing hours and hours of Internet research to ensure the model’s accuracy. I’ve also started participating in “photo contests” of the virtual world (you can see my entry for the “Heavy Armor” contest in my previous post and more here).

Anyway, there’s a blurring of the line between reality and virtuality. Really, the only thing required for interaction is intelligence and some sort of human-intelligence interface like a keyboard, a microphone, and a monitor. In fact, I predict that voice recognition will get so good that the flirty phone voice on the automated answering service you hear when calling UPS will soon be turning men on everywhere, instead of pissing them off by constantly repeating, “Uh I’m sorry, I didn’t get that.” The way it is now though, if I ever meet the girl who was recorded to do that voice, I’ll probably instantly hate her and not know why.

What do you think?