Sunday, November 04, 2007

Back to Humans

This month issue of Computer runs an article titled "Generation 3D: Living in Virtual Worlds", which ends up predicting that virtual 3D worlds could become pervasive in our lives by 2047. I must admit that, as cool as living a virtual life in an MMORPGs sounds to a geek like me, I am frightened by the implication for our societies.

If our avatars become the main mental projection of our psyches and if our disincarnate-selves become our main subject of concerns, what would happen to such fragile things like the environment, democracy or compassion ?

Will it matter to the "generation 3D" if the Earth must be over-exploited to produce enough energy for powering the zillions of servers hosting their fantasy worlds?

Will it matter to them if their countries turn into police states where their only liberties will be virtual, abandoning the ideals that founding fathers and thinkers of the past had for mankind?

And finally will it matter at all if others will be left out dying of cold or hunger at the fringe of the digital society?

Was Queen prophetic?


Perrine said...

May be Franck HERBERT try to give to us a notice concerning the electronical virtual world with the Butlerian Jihad ?

David Dossot said...

I will not try to hide my lack of culture: I did not read any Franck Herbert book, so far.

Still so much to do in this non-virtual but fully 3-D life ;-)

Jean-Luc Ensch said...

I am rather sceptical that in 2047 or any time virtuality will overtake the real world.
The problem is legal : you can set up any operation in a virtual world, as long as the physical world provides a guarantee. By turning this upside-down, it would imply that courts would agree on an avatar to guarantee your deeds in the real world.

Second Life is a deflating bubble at the time and, to some extend, this is the proof of the pudding.
Suppose you hire someone in SL. Who are you actually hiring ? And if that person doesn't perform as promised in SL, do you have a case for laying him off ?

Let's just keep our feet on the ground.

David Dossot said...

But, sometimes, it is good to leave the ground, nope?