Tag Archives | Virtual Reality

Boy Convicted Of Theft For Stealing Virtual Items Within Video Game

videoWell, if the stock market is regarded as real in the eyes of the law, why not an invisible amulet? Via the Chronicle Herald:

The amulet and mask were a 13-year-old boy’s virtual possessions in an online fantasy game. In the real world, he was beaten and threaten with a knife to give them up.

The Dutch Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the theft conviction of a youth who stole another boy’s possessions in the popular online fantasy game RuneScape. Judges ordered the offender to perform 144 hours of community service.

Only a handful of such cases have been heard in the world, and they have reached varying conclusions about the legal status of “virtual goods” — and whether stealing them is real-world theft.

The suspect’s lawyer had argued the amulet and mask “were neither tangible nor material and, unlike for example electricity, had no economic value.” But the Netherlands’ highest court said the virtual objects had an intrinsic value to the 13-year-old gamer because of “the time and energy he invested” in winning them while playing the game.

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Holograms You Can Manipulate With Your Hands

The future will involving interacting with objects that aren't actually there. The 2050 World Series will be played with a holographic non-real "ball" and your grandchildren's toys will be mere fragments of light. Via PhysOrg:
A research project at Microsoft Research Cambridge has brought forth a prototype called Holodesk, which lets you manipulate virtual objects with your hand.
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Japanese Pop Star Outed As Computer-Generated Creation

20110619_eguchi2-600x449Has CGI technology become super realistic? Or is it more that actual famous people now resemble virtual creations to the extent that the difference is hardly noticeable? Kotaku reveals:
AKB48 is Japan's most popular female pop group. With give-or-take 48 members, its latest member is Aimi Eguchi, who has rocketed from obscurity to become the poster girl for a Japanese ice candy, Ice no Mi. Now revealed as a computer composite of other girls in the group, she appears 4 seconds in below.
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Resurrecting Reznor’s Lost Art-Band Discovery, ‘Mondo Vanilli’

Mondo VanilliFinally the truth can be told — about how the editor of Mondo 2000 magazine was offered a six-album deal with Trent Reznor’s label for a performance art/virtual reality band called “Mondo Vanilli” in 1993. (“Would I be the first mildly overweight, weird-looking lead singer to launch into rock stardom at 41 years old?”)

Mondo editor R. U. Sirius remembers fondly that Reznor “was still excited about us after the psilocybin wore off,” recalls the poop-and-diapers piece of performance art that disgusted the hipsters in San Francisco, and shares the legendary sad-eyed “Keane painting” mocking Reznor that may have ultimately spoiled the deal…

But their one “lost album” from 1993 is finally available online.

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Cambridgeshire Farm Seeks Online Farmers

myfarm-logoWhat happens when Farmville becomes reality and not just a game? National Trust create MyFarm, an actual working farm that has 10,000 virtual farmers. BBC reports:
A National Trust farm is to be run by online subscribers voting on which crops to grow and livestock to rear.
For a £30 annual fee, 10,000 farm followers will help manage Wimpole Home Farm, in Cambridgeshire. The National Trust says its MyFarm project aims to reconnect people with where their food comes from. It was partly inspired by the online Facebook game Farmville and follows the example of Ebbsfleet Football Club which is run on a similar basis. Decisions about the running of the team in Kent has been in the hands of MyFootballClub subscribers since 2008.
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‘Intellitar’ Helps Create ‘Digital Clone’ To Leave Legacy For Your Ancestors

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Photo: Glenn Baeske/Huntseville Times

Humanity has continually questioned what happens after death. The technological age is now asking, what happens to your online presence after death? Virtual Eternity is  a program that allows users to create a ‘digital clone’ of themselves in order to engage with future generations. It puts a new spin on the after life. The Huntsville Times reports:

Have you ever wished to once again be able to talk with a loved one who has died? Maybe say something you had wished you had told them? Or even hear that something special from them?

A local company won’t be able to make that happen but it can realize that opportunity for future generations. The company, Intellitar, will be releasing Virtual Eternity on Wednesday.

“The whole concept is legacy creation and preservations,” said Don Davidson, the founder and CEO of Intellitar.”The idea is I can use a number of technologies available and create a living legacy.”

Think of it as “a digital clone, if you will,” he said.

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‘Medal of Honor’ Brings The Battles in Afghanistan Home

Medal O fHonorEver wanted to fight against the Taliban? Ever wanted to fight on the side of the Taliban? Thanks to the realistic first-person shooter game Medal of Honor, it’s possible. That is, until the controversy it raised cause the game to be debuted with Taliban being referred to simply as “opposing forces.”  USA Today reports:

Electronic Arts faces an uphill battle when it comes to first-person shooter Medal of Honor. Formerly entrenched in World War II, the franchise is trying to reinvent itself by switching to the present day. But it enters a crowded battlefield with juggernauts Call of Duty and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 owning most players’ online time.

The revamped Medal of Honor marks a relatively smooth transition from battlefronts in Germany and Japan to modern-day Afghanistan. However, those hoping for a powerful competitor to Call of Duty might want to temper their enthusiasm.

Medal of Honor focuses on United States Special Forces — specificially elite soldiers called Tier 1 Operators and U.S.

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Virtual Reality Asks Tough Behavior and Anxiety Questions

virtual realityEver wonder what it was like to be the opposite sex? Ever wonder what it was like to be the opposite sex and abused? Virtual reality may be the key to engaging in such questions. BBC News reports:

Virtual reality is allowing scientists to ask difficult questions about human behaviour that were previously not possible or were thought too unethical.

A Spanish team has designed a trial that allows men to step inside the body of a woman subjected to violence.

Meanwhile scientists in London are simulating a controversial experiment from the 1960s in which people were persuaded to inflict pain on others.

The original experiments were condemned as immoral and too traumatic.

At Barcelona University, male volunteers have experienced life as a virtual young girl and then separately, witnessed violence towards her.

On returning to live the girl’s virtual life, the men empathized with her more than usual, feeling scared and insecure themselves.

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We Are Living In A Screenworld – Reality Isn’t In The Real World Anymore

storyimages_eviltvsmallMichael Ventura writes on AlterNet:

Not so long ago, I taught a graduate writing seminar in which I got caught in an argument about virtual vs. “real” experience. Two students—among the brightest in the class—insisted that they could go to Rome via a computer program through which they could view every street, turn this corner and that as they pleased, look at every ruin and work of art, and their experience would be as real, as engaged, as if they’d actually been there. n “But,” said I, “a pigeon couldn’t shit on your head.”

Granting that any experience can be called “real,” in that it is an experience, I argued that there are differences in the nature of virtual and actual reality. For one thing, on your walk through a virtual Rome, you aren’t even walking: you’re sitting. And what’s Rome without the wonderful smells of food? Even if your virtual Rome is accompanied by recorded sounds of Rome, that’s nothing like the sounds of racket, traffic, music, and language, the melodious cacophony of Italian, spoken all around you.

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Virtual Reality Veteran FSK1138 Talks About His New Low-Tech Lifestyle

fsk1138-1Via Technoccult:

You say now use the Internet for less than 3 hours a week and do not own a TV, phone, or stove. What brought you to the point that you decided you had to unplug like that?

I lived in Guyana for 4 years. You can have days when you have no power, and I survived. I feel that people think that the Internet will always be there. I feel it will not and the day is coming soon. I have seen the Internet change over the years – it has changed alot. The day is coming, I feel, that the can not remain a free utility.

Life really is not hard without technology if you learn to live without it. But if you’re addicted – what then?

When did you decide to cut back your use of technology?

When I realized it was taking up so much of my time – 2007 – I started closing down websites that I was using.

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