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Virtual World

February 6, 2011 | By Janice P. Nimura, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Reality Is Broken Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World Jane McGonigal Penguin Press: 388 pp., $26.95 As a nongamer, avowed Luddite and mother of a 7-year-old who is mesmerically attracted to anything with a screen, I was skeptical about the message in "Reality Is Broken. " But Jane McGonigal is worth hearing out ? her point in this provocative manifesto is that the energy and devotion that gamers pour into video games is a powerful force and that we are fools if we fail to harness it. Instead of dismissing games as frivolous entertainment or trying to unplug our children, we should take a close look at what games provide and figure out how to make reality as exciting and rewarding ?
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.
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.
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.
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.
May 6, 2012 | By David Pagel
The 12 digitally printed photographs in Stephanie Washburn's solo debut at Mark Moore Gallery are mysterious messes that make you look closely. They also invite you to ponder big questions about the nature of reality and art's place in it. Such heavy-duty philosophizing is rarely handled with Washburn's light touch, which leaves plenty of room for viewers who like DIY discoveries. In each of her pictures, the visible world seems to have dissolved into a faded version of itself, like an all-but-lost memory or a digital transmission on the fritz.
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...
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.
May 18, 2005
At least one thing is clear to me after reading "Geek Fun Isn't Frivolous" (Opinion, May 15), and that is that the editors of The Times have given up on dealing with reality in the Opinion section and are rabidly pushing the gobbledy-geek mentality onto a once thought-provoking and exciting menu concerning problems and philosophical differences in our extremely complex world involved with genocide, suicide bombers, starvation, gang warfare, ethnic wars...
April 2, 2008 | James Hohmann, Times Staff Writer
A man with an oversized top hat sat in the front row of a House subcommittee hearing Tuesday, munching on popcorn. Next to him was a woman wearing wings that let her fly out of her seat. And she was sitting by a large bumblebee. It wasn't an April Fool's Day stunt but the first time a congressional hearing was simulcast into the popular online virtual world called Second Life.
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