What do we, as individuals behind the keyboard, find erotically or romantically alluring about a digital representation? What do we look for? For example, is it looks? Is it behavior? Common interests? The ability to converse proficiently in text chat? None or all of the above? Isn’t even somewhat bizarre to think that we could become aroused by an embodiment of pixels, even though we know there are in fact humans behind those pixels?
Speaking of public fucking, for the past couple of days I’ve been dropping by Heaven Above the Clouds, one of the more popular public sex sims in SL. Yeah, you’ve got avatars there just doing it with each other out in the open. You’ve got porn clips playing on video screens. You’ve got access to a cornucopia of pose balls, beds, sofas and sex blankets, and even a few BDSM contraptions. You’ve got sizzling hip-hop tunes pumping in the background.
At any rate, contained in that press release were a few statements uttered by FutureTAG and Vivox folks that caused me to raise a brow in skepticism. Take this one, for instance: “Real-time voice capability is an integral part in ensuring the success of virtual worlds and societies,” stated Giulio Prisco, founder of FutureTAG. That’s a bold, sweeping statement, it seems. I mean, the word “success” in this instance might be much more of a subjective phenomenon than that comment makes it out to be, I think. Does my idea of a ’successful’ virtual world mirror Prisco’s, for example? On who’s behalf is he speaking, I wonder?
I told the reporter yeah, if voice was ever integrated into Second life, I would be generally highly enthused about trying it. But I also would be a little skeptical, since many users inside SL (perhaps myself included) have yet to even learn how to communicate and interact competently using text. Now we’re going to have voice? Then I said to her that voice was a totally different type of performance.
Here I was all bummed out that I missed my opportunity to meet Violet Blue at the Sex in Video Games Conference. But now I don’t feel half as bad anymore since it turns out she may not have been in the greatest of moods anyway, specifically after she got through with her panel, Turning on the Player.
Ren Reynolds dropped a wake-up bomb today after he critiqued the very panel he was on, which focused on the issue of morals and ethics in video games and MMOs. As panelists responded to the moderators’ questions, one inquiry prompted Reynolds to voice objection to the fact that the panel’s discussion was being framed around American law and culture.
I asked Brashears if the company planned any interface tweaking that would (directly or indirectly) benefit the facilitation of 3-D simulated sex inside SL’s virtual world. He told me efforts are in fact under way to address some of the sloppy visual displays users have to put up with while engaging in animations, including sex poses — eg., problems such as virtual genitals not properly lining up with each other during sex simulation, and body parts going through body parts, making the on-screen display look too unrealistic, thereby diminishing user immersion.
A good portion of the content in today’s lectures — and even some of the panels — seemed to amount to the equivalent of a crash course in simulated sex aimed specifically at bringing people up to speed, special ally developers and companies that lacked substantial background on the topic but wanted to cash in on its growing popularity. It seems that spirit of give and take, after all, relates to one of the big reasons why this conference was put together in the first place: to build a mutually beneficial relationship between the adult entertainment and video game industries.
The media is very interested in this event.
Dave Taylor just gave a presentation on the future of technology and sex, and I gotta say, the future looks bright, based on the computer/video game images and clips shown during his lecture. Drool-inducing depictions of graphically rendered bodies filled the screen as he spoke. I mean, some were really hot, with attendees falling silent for brief moments as they watched.
I am in San Francisco, I’ve checked into my hotel room, and I am connected to the Internet. Life is good. Now all I need is a good-looking naked person in my room and I’ll be all set.
I’ll have my camera with me, so I’ll also be somewhat of a roving photographer, as well as an oversexed blogger who will be following his nose for interesting stuff to cover. Which won’t be that hard, considering the roster of speakers and interesting talks that are scheduled.
DreamHost reported server attacks yesterday, resolved them, and then reported more outages today, which have now been resolved (as of several minutes ago.) Hopefully, that’s the end of the service interruptions. Sorry for the inconvenience!