Thursday, June 03, 2004


I already did a protodiatribe on virtuality, but this morning after I'd spent some of my usual morning moments gazing out of my actual front window at the actual Lake and mountains lying there silver and silk in the actual morning sun, before going out into my actual garden and picking some actual lettuce for actual lunch and shouting an actual hello to my actual neighbor upactualmountain before going inside to post some thoughts on PLM in the clear prelunch mind, I came upon this webnews headline that begat all the above 'actuals':

"Virtual Real Estate Boom Draws Real Dollars"

In this news item, which you can read for yourself right here if you prefer plain old starkly impersonal journalism with its mere catalog of details, growing numbers of people are joining a Massively Multiplayer online game called "Second Life," via which they are going into raptures over and experiencing land rushes regarding, virtual beachfront land in a virtual world "where players fly and don't waste time eating or going to the bathroom," all clearly in some preference to whatever they may do and possess in this actual world we were born into and continue for the most part to live in, though that percentage seems to be on the virtual decline.

Second Lifers, who actually pay actual money for their virtual land, are actually saying things like "The idea of land ownership and the ease with which you can own land and do something with it... is intoxicating," and: "Land ownership feels important and tangible... It's a real piece of the future." I feel a virtual need to remind them that a virtual future actually leaves much to be desired, and that there is actual land available, upon which to live in genuine actuality.

The popularity of the game it would seem is a valid index of the diminishing popularity of what was formerly known simply as 'life.' In some lives and places there is apparently growing need to escape both, which is more of a pity than we may ever know. In my own life and place, the virtual couldn't hold a candle to the actual.

[Later: Virtuality is getting at least virtually closer to where I am than I'd thought...
"Here's how to play Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life: Milk the cow, find something edible for the dog, scrub down the horse, bring your sweetheart some fresh flowers. Go fishing. Water your crops. Make dinner. Sleep. Repeat." From Enjoy the Good Life, on GameCube] And right here in Japan, from Nintendo.


No comments: