10 October 2006

Goo goo goo

Troublemakers have again instigated a grey goo attack against Second Life [ via BoingBoing ]. Second Life apparently has rich enough tools for artifact construction to permit unconstrained replication. A previous occurrence of grey goo was actually pink goo let loose accidentally by a noob. Cute. It looks like the current problem is much less benign; follow the SL blog posts beginning early Sunday. Any server developers will read with unpleasant recognition the rapidfire up-down-up-down-up-down announcements, although the presence of self-replicating particle objects are probably not so common.

Watched South Park's "Make Love, Not Warcraft" episode on YouTube (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, while they last). The joke is that, at some point, the act of playing the game becomes more important than the experience of being in the game. If that makes sense.

Representational art in the Byzantine era, and similarly drama in the pre-Renaissance, was restricted (or at least looked on with suspicion) because Christian philosophers felt that the ersatz reality seduced us away from God's reality. Our susceptible minds would be enthralled by the stories and accept experience through them instead of through reality.

When I read a novel I'm immersed in the reality of that novel, and yet the experience is as static as watching television or maybe even playing piano. I'm passively--disregarding the active choice of art object and time--experiencing that which someone else had created. Maybe these virtual worlds are the next logical step in the art consumer experience, but with the addition of consumer interaction. And maybe the fears of art replacing sacred fidelity have changed to those of it replacing social integrity.

[ posted by sstrader on 10 October 2006 at 12:51:32 PM in Science & Technology ]