Friday, January 9, 2009

Real Drive

I finally finished watching an anime series called Real Drive. I enjoyed the series but I'm still mulling over some of the messages I got out of the story. At a simple level, it is a science fiction story about a next generation network called the Meta Real (Metal) where most users are permanently connected, anywhere and everywhere, without any external devices. However the hallmark of good science fiction that it is not about the technology but how it effects people and the environment in which they live. This series most certainly delivers on that front.

The story got me thinking about 3D virtual environments and how we've become so enamoured with them. The raw Metal is perceived as an ocean and users "dive" into it. Later we discover that this correlation is not accidental, and that the real ocean has characteristics which are only revealed because we created this technology. So I wonder, as we create ever more detailed and complex virtual environments, what might we discover about ourselves and the world around us?

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