Monday, December 6, 2010

"World Builder"

originally published 9 March 2009

I really love Bruce Branit's World Builder video. So instead of simply enjoying it, I'm gonna get all pedantic on it and ask: "so what the heck was going on there, anyway?"

I mean, why did the guy have only 60 minutes to build? Why did he hide from the girl? Why did the girl have only (apparently) a few minutes to experience the build? I mean, what's up with the girl, anyway? And why did the build go away after she left? Have these people never heard of archiving? (although to be fair, Linden Lab's never heard of it, either).

I know, I know: "willing suspension of disbelief". I loved it, holes and all.

One thing that I would like to point out, though, is that this is not, strictly speaking, a "holodeck". The Star Trek holodeck somehow managed to rez stuff in real Reality (and bend space and all kinds of other neat, impossible stuff -- the holodeck was built by aliens and if you watched the show it was pretty obvious that Picard and friends could use it but they really didn't have a clue how the thing worked, and neither do I).

The technology in World Builder is more like The Matrix -- or, at least, the direct neural interface technology that was used in the Matrix movies. I mean, the girl was (apparently) in a coma -- I do not see any way within the logical framework of the narrative that she got up out of bed and started wandering through the scene. It was all in her head. And his head, too. And if you haven't seen the video, you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, so you really need to watch it.

And while we're on the topic: one of the subtler things in the Matrix movies -- in The Matrix Reloaded, in particular -- was that awesome lovely clean and white Zion Control room.
Okay, this isn't something the Wachowski brothers called me up and told me about, but it seems obvious that it wasn't a "real" place -- it was a virtual world construct of some kind. Pretty cool -- I mean, if we really had direct neural interfaces, we'd for certain be using them like that.

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