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Virtual World

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.
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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.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
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...
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
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 ?
OPINION
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...
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.
NATIONAL
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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