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Virtual World

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.
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.
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...
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.
January 6, 2011 | By Kevin Thomas
Mamoru Hosoda's "Summer Wars," an official entry for the animated feature Oscar, imagines an online community known as Oz, a virtual world so vast that it has become a marketplace, a social media site and a gaming enterprise ? in short, the engine that drives the electronic universe. The film certainly functions as a cautionary tale about humanity's increasing reliance on technology, but it's also a superb example of Japanese anime, balancing science fiction fantasy with a paean to the timeless value of family life.
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 ?
September 25, 2009 | BETSY SHARKEY, FILM CRITIC
There is something eerie about watching "We Live in Public," Ondi Timoner's significant yet ultimately unsatisfying documentary on Internet visionary Joshua Harris, a bizarre blend of geek pioneer and new age party planner who began toying with Web-human relations in the early '90s. Harris intuitively understood the power of the Web to appeal to the narcissist in all of us. It would make him a multimillionaire; it would bankrupt him. Now, perhaps most painfully of all, he's forgotten.
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...
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