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Our Virtual Living

Published by mugen shiyo in the blog mugen shiyo's blog. Views: 107

You don't need to think fantasy to see a hidden world beneath the "real" one. Beneath all things real there is the aesthetic. Beneath that, the hypothesized, and beneath that the purely imagined or speculated based on what exists. Because no imagination creates a thing out of the blue. All is based on a fragmented, chimeric reorganizing of known information- unconsciously or subconsciously- by our brains.

If you combine all the aesthetic, the emotional, the symbolic, the hypothetical, and the theorized forms of our world and other worlds that will result from these things you get a completely new world. A universe that can expand and contract as the limits of each individual imagination dictates. A world of infinite infinities. Vectors created from vectors. The result is a world whose roots is in the real world but whose boundaries extend past the borders of the possible into a wilderness of the unknown, the unseen, the impossible by any possible means. A world of dreams.

Imagine, one day, if a computer system or machine where invented that could wirelessly connect our consciousness's into a single cloud-system where we could access the caverns of our conscious and unconscious minds much the same way we access information from the millions of ports available today. In this virtual reality world, the world of dreams becomes tangible. Navigable. Interactable. And... re-writable. Imagine being able to construct or break down the components of a persons thoughts, emotions, and dreams. Not that this is physically possible, but so connected are we to our inner most thoughts that, like the old dream law states, what happens while sleeping is reflected by the mind in waking.

I would think that at this point life becomes something seriously weird for I believe the majority of us would rather live in the fantasy world than the real world. We would be something like the matrix- permanently hooked in with machines designed to take care of us in this state from birth to death. We would interact with the real world through our dreams. I'm not saying that machines necessarily control us...but I'm saying that we lose the will to live reality. We really don't live reality anyway. Not completely.

Notice an internet and gaming trend? You might not because you are so close to it and only see the game for the game. But to the person inventing it, studying it's affect on you and how to hook you on the next one, they see it. It's involvement, individualization, growth and'or progression, and achievement. More and more you are able to create an avatar on the internet. Think of all the perks you give yourself step-by-step. You start off by giving yourself a new name. Something that reflects who you feel you are or who you feel you should be seen as. You are given a chance to create your image. To change you height, hair color, eye color, sex, or race. You are basically being given the ability to reconstruct yourself in the image you wish for yourself. This is like being able to go back to your birth and reset the genes according to how you think you should have came out.

Now...you are involved. You have an attachment to this character. This person- guy or girl- is you. A representation of you and you are introduced to a globe community with a new start from the beginning. You undergo missions and the like that involve you and you emotions- more or less- in story lines. You are given increasing power and strength so that you feel you are actually growing stronger in turn. The technicality, process, and customization of these level-ups and such give you the idea that you are crafting yourself further. Perfecting yourself. I think one of the most addictive things is the reward and the level or status ranking system. It gives you the illusion of achievement over others. You conquer, outsmart, our out skill someone. You have done something few others may have been able to do- even if just a video game- and you latch onto it. The whole process makes you want to live vicariously through this character. You spend as much time in that world as you do the real world. Some people want the edge so much they pay money for an advantage. Of course, when this game gets old you discard it but you can't wait for the next best thing to come out. Is it more real? Is it long? How much stuff is there to do?

Facebook is a game as well. You don't see it like that, but it's the same social game that is played out through elementary school, high school, college, and, yes, post college probably to your death. It's the social game. The social ladder. Climb up and enjoy fame, friends, and all that. No one wants to be at the bottom. Weak, alone, unappreciated. So you spend time constructing your online image. Like your individual photographs you shoot for just the right mix of things that makes you seem, at the very least, sociably attractive, interesting, or whatever. And you must be involved daily. You have to show change. Done something new, experienced something cool, somehow updated your life. Peer pressure right in your living room. Can't fall behind the image you made, right? The ingenious thing I credit them for is the friends thing and the like button. People like to be accepted and appreciated and facebook was able to put a meter on that social achievement. Look how many people like me or accept me. When they don't, this is another disappointment. And just like a game, if things are going bad you scrap it and start another one. This virtual world gives you the chance to start all over again and again. Something you cannot really do in life.

I think at some point we will see that a majority of the people with access to internet and access to the virtual worlds people sink into will spend at least half of their day constructing, deconstructing, or modeling themselves online or browsing the worlds and persona's of other people. In a way this is great, but in a way it is perverted. I really don't offer any moral conviction towards it all except saying that if life was a road, it would be hair-raising to see a bunch of sleeping drivers. Or even more scary, people being driven by their cars.
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