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Virtual World

NEWS
May 21, 1995 | MARK EHRMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
To the uninitiated, Virtual World--which dubs itself "the world's first digital theme park"--can be pretty disorienting. The place appears to be a "Star Wars" lounge, with an inexplicable hodgepodge of high-tech gizmos, lab-coated employees, Victorian furniture and early aviation-era artifacts. Periodically, the PA system announces the imminent departure of "missions" with code names--Alpha 28 and Beta 12. "The question we get the most here is, 'What is this place?'
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 30, 2012 | By Oliver Gettell
Chris Marker, the influential French filmmaker, writer and multimedia artist, has died at age 91, according to the Associated Press . Though less well known than some of the major French New Wave directors who were his contemporaries, Marker is renowned for his 1962 film "La Jetée," a haunting half-hour short about a time-traveling soldier in post-apocalyptic Paris. Told in voice-over narration and black-and-white still photos, the film underscores Marker's fascination with memory, time and reality.
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.
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
August 18, 1997 | JONATHAN WEBER
The prophets of high technology have for years been predicting that computers would give rise to wholly new forms of entertainment, and thus Walt Disney's announcement earlier this month that it would launch a chain of regional high-tech entertainment centers had an air of inevitability about it. Who better than Disney to create elaborate "virtual reality" attractions that use advanced computer graphics and motion simulators to create the illusion of being in, say, a prehistoric world?
BUSINESS
February 25, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
DreamWorks Animation had good news and a bigger dose of bad news in its fourth quarter, as strong DVD sales for "How to Train Your Dragon" were reported alongside a disappointing DVD release for "Shrek Forever After" and a weak box-office run for "Megamind. " The Glendale animation studio also took write-downs on its unsuccessful "Kung Fu Panda" virtual world and the national tour of its live stage show "Shrek the Musical. " DreamWorks released three movies in 2010, the most it has put out in a single year.
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.
BUSINESS
August 12, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
This week, Walt Disney Co. formally unveiled its latest online community: World of Cars, inspired by Pixar Animation Studios' 2006 hit movie "Cars. " The Burbank entertainment giant plans to begin revving its marketing engine for the virtual world this month, with promotions appearing on Disney Channel and elsewhere. World of Cars is Disney's fifth online community — one that's designed to keep children interacting with Lightning McQueen, Mater and other characters from the movie until "Cars 2" is released in 2011.
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.
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