Society of Simulations
Simulations are now more influential, satisfying and meaningful than the reality they are presumed to represent
The media have become our filters through which we survey the world around us. We see more images every day than a person living in the Middle Ages in a whole lifetime. Plastic surgeons sculpt flesh to match retouched photographs in glossy magazines.
Virtual computer worlds are becoming increasingly ‘real’ and blended with our physical world. People drink beverages with non-existing fruit flavors. We wage war on video screens. Birds mimic mobile–phone ring tones. Do we still have genuine experiences at all, or are we living in a Society of Simulations?
- Sight: As Second Life becomes First Life
- A Society of Simulations
- Out of Network
- Michael Najjar – High Altitude
- LED Religion
- Norwegian Boy saves Sister from Moose Attack using World of Warcraft Skills
- Infant Pillow - Simulates a Mother's Hand
- Transfer Your Window!
- Game On
- Games become jobs: Gold farming in China
Virtual Offline Shopping
As the second most hardest working people on this planet, Koreans obviously dread their weekly shopping for groceries. It is therefore that Home Plus (Tesco in Europe) plastered walls of a Korean subway station with …
Ceci n'est pas une Montagne
This is not a mountain, this is a building. Expedition Everest is a “themed roller coaster” attraction created by the imagineers of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida. Above we see the mountain under construction. …
Fake for Real Memory Game
Find yourself forgetting what’s real and what’s virtual? Jog your memory with Fake for Real, a game about reality. The Fake for Real Memory Game consists of 60 cards that playfully visualize the classical theme …
iBookshelf: Simulation before Extinction
As technology progresses we constantly have to adapt ourselves to an ever changing media landscape. Designers try to smooth the changes with a ‘progressive nostalgic‘ strategy: linking newfangled technologies with familiar phenomena.
Flipping through the bookshelf …
Cavemen Used 'Facebook' Already
Scientists claim to have discovered a “prehistoric version of Facebook” used by ancient tribes to communicate with each other. After analyzing over 3000 rock art images in Sweden and Russia, Mark Sapwell and his team …
Sight: As Second Life becomes First Life
This short, created by Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo, portrays a speculative future wherein we all walk around with contact lens-like devices that augment our reality.
Over the last century or so, the technological reproduction of images has grown explosively. Each of us is confronted with more images every day than a person living in the Middle Ages would have seen in their whole lifetime. If you open a 100-year-old newspaper you will be amazed by the volume of text and the absence of pictures.
— Koert van Mensvoort, A Society of Simulations
When we type “Flickr” or “Facebook” or “YouTube” into a browser, we seek to enter social networks and enjoy secure communication and interaction with a vast number of online users from around the world. Most of us take for granted that these words are understood by others in the same way. But what if rather than type these words on a keyboard we paint them on the walls of slums in Mali, Cambodia or Vietnam. Their meanings would certainly change.
It’s beyond arguing, for most of us, that technologies now exert an unprecedented control over our lives. Google Maps tells us where we are, Record Future where we will be and Facebook who our friends are.
In recent years the Italian artist Filippo Minelli has produced land art that consists of writing the names of social networks and corporations on the walls of slums in developing countries. Minelli has stated that the aim of the project (which is called “Contradictions”) is “to point out the gap between the reality we still live in and the ephemeral world of technologies.”
The rock formations in the High Altitude photo series don’t exist physically, yet they are very present in our society of simulations. The photos visualize the development of the leading global stock market indices over the past 20-30 years.
Each stock market index, such as the Dow Jones (shown above), Nikkei, Nasdaq or the more specific Lehman Brothers stock quote downfall, corresponds to a impeccably rendered unique mountain range. Photographer Michael Najjar used the images captured during his trek to Mount Aconcagua (6,962m) as the basis of the high altitude data visualizations.
Chinese workers slaying monsters to earn gold for western consumers. It sounds surreal, but it is a far from virtual reality for the so-called ‘gold farmers’, who are working in 10-hour shifts to help players gain levels, and wealth, in online roleplaying games like World of Warcraft.
For thousands of Chinese workers, gold farming is a way of life. Workers earn between €85-€130 a month which, given the long hours and night shifts, can amount to as little as 30 cent an hour. After completing a shift, they are given a basic meal of rice, meat and vegetables and falls into a bunk bed in a room that eight other gold farmers share. Wages may be low, but food and accommodation are included. You can hire your own gold farming slave employee via wow7gold.com.
According to an extensive report by Richard Heeks at Manchester University (pdf), a few hundred thousand Asian workers are now employed in gold farming in a trade worth up to 730 million a year. With so many gamers now online, these industries are estimated to have a consumer base of five million to 10 million, and numbers are expected to grow with widening internet access. Recently, the Chinese government started taxing gold farmers.
Games become jobs. And where there’s a demand, China will supply it.
Via: Guardian. Related: Cellphone minutes: the next currency, Wow funeral gets ambushed, Millionaire in Second Life, Online gamers unmasked, WoWoW.
The Catholic Church is not exactly renowned for its progressive attitude towards technological progress. Just think of the belligerent attitude the Church still has towards contemporary next nature phenomena like condom use, the anti–conception pill or gay marriage and you’ll get the drift. When it comes to fund raising, however, the Church tends to be more technologically progressive.
During a recent visit of the Central Cathedral in Barcelona, Spain, I spotted these LED based wake lights, which seamlessly replace the wax candles traditionally used to make your prayer tangible. Apparently the God fearing people in control of the Church decided there is no noteworthy spiritual difference between LED’s and burning candles?
So far so good: praying is entirely about the intention of the individual making the prayer and a LED system is …
Hans Jørgen Olsen, a 12-year-old Norwegian boy, saved himself and his sister from a moose attack using skills he picked up playing the online role playing game World of Warcraft..
Hans and his sister got into trouble after they had trespassed the territory of the moose during a walk in the forest near their home. When the moose attacked them, Hans knew the first thing he had to do was ‘taunt’ and provoke the animal so that it …
Infant Pillow - Simulates a Mother's Hand
If you’ve ever wished for a “hand” to leave behind so that your baby would feel as if you’ve never left the room, your prayers have been answered with the Zaky Infant Pilow. It simulates …
Transfer Your Window!
Did you ever get annoyed about the same view you got by looking out of your window? Transferable windows will be the solution! Imagine you buy a special kind of window which you can place …
Game over? Game on. I can’t help but wonder if gaming might influence our notion of death. Does anyone know of research in this direction? Anyhow, this classical PlayStation 2 advertisement is our peculiar image …