Virtual reality in Hollywood

Virtual reality in Hollywood

Summary: On Hollywood is getting weirder by the panel. First there was golden girl Arianna and her colonialization of the media universe. Then I wandered into a panel ominously entitled "What's in store for Virtual Worlds?"

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On Hollywood is getting weirder by the panel. First there was golden girl Arianna and her colonialization of the media universe. Then I wandered into a panel ominously entitled "What's in store for Virtual Worlds?"

So what is in store for virtual worlds? Virtual reality, that's what we are all peering into -- at least according the panelists. I heard that virtual reality is becoming an extension of people's "real" selves. The theory is that we are no longer distinguishing between our online avator and our physical beings. To quote a guy on the panel from a company appropriately named Doppleganger, we are "disaggregating from our physical limitations."

Life is going elsewhere. The thing-in-itself is migrated online. Reality is being digitalized. The world is being replaced by a blank screen.

This surreal panel was held in a room named the "Cinegrill" in the basement of Hollywood's historic Roosevelt Hotel. After a few minutes of virtual reality talk, I began to look around the room. There must have been around fifty people in the audience -- digital entertainment executives, Hollywood wannabe moguls, media journalists, bloggers, posers like myself. Only three of them (and I counted, I promise) were looking at the four executives up on the stage of the Cinegrill. The others were peering at their electronic toys -- laptops, BlackBerries, phones, Treos. Nobody was paying attention to what was happening in the Cinegrill. Everyone had been consumed by their screens.

Life isn't going elsewhere -- it has already gone. Second life is becoming first life. That big bang you just heard is our final disaggregation from physical limitations. 

And tomorrow I'll get my own dose of virtual reality. I'm appearing on stage with Justin from JustinTV. I'll finally get to do a debate with a live camera. OnHollywood will become InHollywood.

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