Archive for the 'Virtual Worlds' Category

Sep 29 2010

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Sharon Boyd

The Poetic Holodeck

Filed under Virtual Worlds

I missed last night’s Synchtube session (booo :( ), but am just catching up now on the transcript (thank you Sian and Jen). I watched The Poetic Holodeck and loved it. After seeing World Builder and watching the world “the creator” had worked on vanish when their time was over,  this is the best “what if” next movie to watch.

I like the idea that the holodeck retains some awareness of what it likes, that when people are not actively using it, it reverts to something it appreciates or resonates with and I’m still thinking about Jen’s comment of whether it is the holodeck’s dream or the dream it thinks it should have. Whatever it may be, it chooses something that, for a great many people, has a profoundly meditative effect, as Dennis said, a digital meditation. Does the holodeck reflect on what it has chosen or is the code simply invigorating in some way that we, as non-binary(?) beings, can’t appreciate? Do we see a representation that we find beautiful because the holodeck is creating something it finds beautiful at the code level? As Noreen said of Sian’s comment, I’m definitely “anthropomorphising technicological hardware”!

I watched I Robot at the weekend too, and was looking for an opportunity to tie it into this week, and Mark gave the perfect link - ”abandoned lines of code joining to form sentiency” – the zoologist in me really likes that organic form of evolution!

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Sep 27 2010

Profile Image of Sharon Boyd
Sharon Boyd

Blurring of reality and virtuality – a question of trust?

Filed under Virtual Worlds

I’ve just been reading Plot off the Press, an article by Patrick Kingsley, in G2 about the fabulous Paddlesworth Press. Simply put, a group of people have worked hard to create the village of Paddlesworth (named after a real village by the same name), together with characters and back-story. This all leads up to the announcement by asto-physicist and local resident Major Robert Fitzroy-Howard that the world is going to be destroyed by solar flares in two to three months (ie. by around December this year).

What is fascinating is that so much work has gone into creating the backstory, of the village, the characters and the evidence of the solar flare issue. Twitter accounts, weblinks to information, MySpace and Facebook profiles – everything is there. Some characters have also responded on the Guardian’s website saying that the article is an example of “jawdropping incompetence” – classic!

Co-founder, Stephen Eisenhammer says it is an exploration of the “creative possibilities” of the internet. His partner David Story, says this is also an examination of our “misguided” trust in the web.

I’m now following the major on Twitter and am fascinated to see how this works itself out towards the end of the year. I’m also very impressed with the quality and work that has gone into it, and the attention to detail (eg. the characters commenting on G2 – simple but genius!).

It links through to my earlier mention of Channel 4’s Seven Days – again, the founders are allowing “readers to influence events by voting on village decisions”. I thought it was interesting how Seven Days started in the same week as my lifestream, but it didn’t interest me enough to get involved. This does though :)

Why the difference??

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