The virtues of a virtual world
The word virtual used to mean almost or nearly as described, but in the modern computer-mad world virtual has taken on a whole new meaning.
Virtual has come to mean meaningless, delusional and insane. Let me explain. The world of commercial sport has recently spawned a new wave of virtual sport. These virtual sports are computer games of a sort where players (if some one can be called a player when they spend the whole game sitting on their buttocks staring at a computer screen) manage a basketball, soccer, rugby league team etc. These virtual managers join virtual leagues where they play against other virtual managers with actual players (the folks who actually run around playing the game) they have selected from the real league.
The virtual managers then play out a virtual season against each other. These matches are determined by the ongoing statistics of their actual players who playing in the real league.
Have you gone cold yet? I have, my fingers are frozen to the keyboard trying to describe this guff. But its big business now. Have you seen the little kid on TV in his Saint George NRL jumper naming his virtual squad. The little guy is oh-so-cute but wouldnt it be better if he was running around with a football trying to do a jump sidestep? Why didnt they pick a more typical nerd, a bit over weight with red eyes and a prematurely lined white face from staring at a computer screen all day. That would be to real but Im forgetting this is the virtual world the kid they used is a virtual child, a perfect happy smiling funny child.
This virtual sports sickness started in the United States and has grown into a massive gambling network, where the virtual managers can put in $5000 each and play each other for over $10,000 per season. The virtual games happen almost every day, with events in the real world impacting directly on the virtual world. Billy Crystal, the virtual comic actor, is known to have stopped a cab so he could get on line and select a new pitcher for his virtual baseball team after one of his players hurt himself in a real game. So you can see that its a two-way street, the actual sports people affect the virtual league and the goof-offs who indulge themselves in virtual sports management need to waste actual time blustering their delusions of grandeur.
Sport isnt the only area of human endeavour to promote this new form of absolute escapism. Apparently, there is another entire world on the internet called Second Life, where you can buy a personality, land, clothes, and even nice meal for your avatar or character. By the way, people are spending real money and large amounts of it on these virtual experiences. In a way its relieving to know that as the flooding waters from our melting ice caps slowly seep up through the floor boards of their real houses, these virtual warriors will be virtually safe in their virtual bodies on virtual islands in their virtual designer clothing.
A frozen tear falls and shatters on my computer keyboard Ive got to get out of this office.
Hey, maybe I should buy a virtual internet cafe in Second Life where for every second at the computer the avatars would grow fatter and whiter and slower. On the computers in my virtual cafe I could set up a new virtual virtual world where their fat, white, virtual bodies could be lithe, wealthy and prosperous. I could call it Life Cubed. And on the walls of the cafe I could post signs which read, GET A LIFE NOW.