How Real Is Real?

Wired is carrying an interesting article on a service that uses Photoshop to composite photos to create an illusion of freedom and happiness for prisoners and their loved ones; in effect, to create a kind of virtual reality from elements of reality. Check this comparison shot out:


Now remember this post from shortly after I joined the Second Life virtual community? Back then I said “who’s to say what’s valid and what isn’t?” Look at the image below of two SL residents meeting virtually in cyberspace and explain to me how it’s arguably any less real than the composite above:

SL reality

I’d say there are a few people who have never been in an online virtual world who might prefer to have a say in what’s valid and wouldn’t put up an argument. This reminds me of the scene from “Blade Runner” where Roy asks Leon: “Did you get your precious photos?”

{Top image source: Friends Beyond the Wall ; Bottom image Copyright © 2005 Erelas Night}