Transgender? Try TransReal.

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There has to be a cosmic joke in this. The New York Times online (register already) yesterday posted an article titillatingly headlined “Sad, Lonely? For a Good Time, Call Vivienne“. Guess we can expect our lexicon to now equate “call girl” with the name “Vivienne”. And since virtual world commerce has become a regulation problem, the world’s oldest profession is apparently on sound virtual economic footing. It just needs a little…. targeted advertising.

Meanwhile, over on Yahoo! Finance BusinessWire, a news blurb proclaimed “Funcom and Massive Inc. to Implement Revolutionary Game Ad Deal“. Imagine a game filled with these kinds of NPC’s (non-player characters) giving a whole new meaning to the term “viral marketing“. Or in-game billboards that actually cause a player to do a double-take which triggers a torrent of spam. Did someone say targeted advertising?

Now I’ve been following both artificial-virtual life and in-game advertising for a while. And had an interest in the possibilities before Gibson gave away the ending to All Tomorrow’s Parties in his preceeding book, Idoru. I won’t spoil the books for those who haven’t read them, but the third element in this sordid love triangle is rapid-prototyping technology (another big thing with me). Somewhere out there I just know there’s a news article about some RP breakthrough. So don’t wait! Order your own Vivienne today! We’ll destroy our species yet. (Me? no worries – my heart belongs to Ananova).