Sunday, October 28, 2007

Take a look at these CGI femmes fatales. Within fifteen years (or less), interacting with avatars of comparable resolution will probably be as commonplace as Googling. I anticipate many of us opting out of "meatspace" almost entirely in order to mingle with the "beautiful people" in myriad virtual worlds.

Ultimately, will the leisure class choose the digital hedonism of Second Life circa 2020 or brave the unwelcome reality of a disintegrating environment? I can imagine visiting the "real" world becoming something of a rebel act; users will log-in after extended stays in the non-simulated world with exotic tales to tell . . . but will we bring ourselves to believe them?


Chris said...

Considering that our interactions with "real" people are essentially holographic portrayals created inside our brains by (mostly unreliable)sensory input and heavily filtered by our own psychological quirks, I don't see why our experiences with synthetic avatars and characters can't be at least as meaningful and engaging.

The thing I wonder is, when we can get out of the uncanny valley and achieve total realism, will we even want it? Or will we have learned to prefer a stylized, hyper-reality, and consider "realism" parochial and uninteresting?

Anonymous said...


You need to play or take a look at the new videogame Crysis. Their synthetic humans and animations are VERY close to this in real-time right now: . Also check out John Carmack's upcoming engine: .

Nearly indistinguishable human avatars are 5 years or less away. I'm playing Crysis right now and it is easily on par with 2001's CGI animated "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within". Something I would have thought impossible in 2001.


Rand said...

20 years from now do you think we will be plugging in to play, could happen, if so I'd like to go back in time and get a little medieval, could possibly do it full time as in game money is the same as real world money, drip feed, muscle stimulators, dude I could be Robin Hood if I wanted.

Though you'd have to leave every real world person you know behind, unless they join you, sounds like that movie, what's it called, exiztence or something.

Jaking in, leaving the world for ages, though if it works in the mind why not make a few seconds seem like a life time, the answer to immortality could this be, dang now I'm sounding like yoda.

Anyway, I don't think I've commented on your blog to often, but I visit everyday, great stuff, oh and soz for the rant, double shift today.

Anonymous said...

If you look past the "hedonistic" aspects of virtual worlds, you'll find a wonderfully rich environment. One that can be visually and intellectually stimulating...if you look for that.

In my case, I'm talking mostly about my experience with Second Life.

I recently gave it up, however, due to the sheer amount of time it was taking away from real life. It can most definitely get addicting, and was very difficult to leave it behind.

I met wonderful people from all over the world out there, and when you realize that behind every avatar is a real person, you can build wonderful relationships on par with anything you could find in real life.

My main point being there's a whole lot more to explore out there in a virtual world than random sex with strangers. ;o)

Anonymous said...

Wha? There are no "computer generated girls" pix at the link, Mac--any idea why they're gone now?

Mac said...


You're right: they're gone. No explanation here.

Damn link-rot...

Anonymous said...

Chris -- Mind-brain misidentification fallacy alert! (Think about it -- that is not how we EXPERIENCE things. It is just another "model" created by the materialistic -- and fallacious -- new religion of scientism.)

--W.M. Bear