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Virtual World

BUSINESS
January 22, 2008 | Alana Semuels, Times Staff Writer
Stephanie Roberts knew Second Life was just a computer game, but she couldn't resist the virtual world's promise of a real-world interest rate of more than 40%. The 33-year-old from Chicago, who played the game as a raven-haired vixen called Zania Turner, deposited $140 in Ginko Financial and waited for the money to grow. Instead, it vanished five months ago when Ginko, perhaps the first Ponzi scheme in history perpetrated by three-dimensional online avatars, left Second Life.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 10, 2006
It was nice of Christopher Knight to include me (and the rest of the public) along with himself as a "stakeholder" in the Getty ["Yes, You Can Be Too Rich," June 5], but he failed to make a case for having an "art expert" run a $6-billion enterprise. From my own observation, art experts belong to one of the most fractious groups in our society. Which one, then, would Mr. Knight approve? Possibly one that would carry out his own, oft-expressed goal for the Getty -- spend those billions buying masterpieces to turn the Getty into another Met-like mausoleum.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 1997 | LAURIE K. SCHENDEN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Who hasn't imagined possessing exceptional skills or heroism that will at least save the day, if not the world? At Fightertown Pasadena, which marks its grand opening this week, all ages can take a crack at making a childhood fantasy come true. A kind of "Top Gun" meets "Westworld," Fightertown lets the games begin as soon as you walk in the door.
BUSINESS
March 28, 2014 | By Andrea Chang
It's long been the stuff of science fiction, the ability to wear a headset and feel as if you're in another world. Creating an affordable virtual reality device for the mass market has been the holy grail of sorts for game developers and futurists. Now Facebook's $2-billion purchase of Oculus may bring that dream one step closer to reality. Virtual reality enthusiasts say they've been waiting for decades for the technology to take off and have been developing headsets and content in the hopes they could soon have mainstream appeal.
BUSINESS
February 22, 2007 | Alana Semuels, Times Staff Writer
LIKE any pioneer, Marshal Cahill arrived in a new world curious and eager to sample its diversions. Over time, though, he saw an elite few grabbing more than their share. They bought up all the plum real estate. They awarded building contracts to friends. They stifled free speech. Cahill saw a bleak future, but he felt powerless to stop them. So he detonated an atomic bomb outside an American Apparel outlet. Then another outside a Reebok store.
BOOKS
August 4, 1991 | Robert Wright, Wright is a senior editor at the New Republic and the author of "Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information" (HarperCollins)
Toward the end of "Virtual Reality," author Howard Rheingold peers into the world of tomorrow and offers the following report: "(T)here is no reason to believe you won't be able to map your genital effectors to your manual sensors and have direct genital contact by shaking hands." Then he asks: "What will happen to social touching when nobody knows where anybody else's erogenous zones are located?" I must admit that this question had never occurred to me.
NEWS
January 30, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
I won't lie -- I usually find it cute when my sons and my husband geek out over Superman or Batman. But there are times when the antics wear thin. Like when my 3-year-old refuses to wear his glasses because "Wolverine doesn't wear glasses. " Or when he chases our cat around the house, fists flying, screaming, "BATMAN!" Now the journal PLoS One has published a study to inspire hope in mothers like me: Scientists said Wednesday that experiencing a Superman-like power of flight, in a virtual reality simulation, made people more helpful.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 2, 1990 | ROBERT KOEHLER
In the past, Bill Moyers has talked with ideological gurus, idiosyncratic artists and iconoclastic scientists. To toast his new season of "A World of Ideas" (at 7:35 tonight on Channel 28), Moyers has found a new type to mix it up with. Meet Robert Lucky, techie with a human face. Lucky, in case you don't know, is executive director of the innovative Bell Labs' communications sciences research division.
BUSINESS
December 20, 2012 | By Chris O'Brien
If you're like me and have a child who lives and breathes Minecraft, then you'll want to take note of the following important scheduling note:  A documentary called "Minecraft: The Story of Mojang," which tells the story of the game and its creator, Markus "Notch" Persson, will stream Saturday at 5 p.m. Pacific time on Xbox Live .  For those not familiar with Minecraft, in short, it's a virtual world created and distributed by Persson's...
BUSINESS
August 30, 2008 | Dawn C. Chmielewski, Times Staff Writer
The newspaper industry is constantly bewailing its need for a new economic model, as the Internet upends the old one. Maybe it could take a page from the Club Penguin Times. The Club Penguin Times, after all, is more widely read than New York's Daily News, the Chicago Tribune or the Dallas Morning News. And it's not even 3 years old. But this weekly "newspaper" isn't tossed onto driveways or sold at newsstands. Rather, it's an online publication distributed to the estimated 6.7 million monthly users of Club Penguin, a snow-covered virtual world visited by more than 12 million kids, who adopt a colorful penguin persona and waddle around, playing games and meeting new friends.
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