The L.A. Times Contemplates America’s Avatar Addiction

Surrogates_jonathan_mostow

As we discussed yesterday, the recent spate of virtual reality action flicks has Hollywood is gaga over gamers.

Between James Cameron's Avatar, the Bruce Willis vehicle Surrogates, Gerard Butler's Gamer, and anything else currently in the pipeline, more people are experiencing virtual worlds through old media than ever before.

The Los Angeles Times has a thoughtful report on the prevalence of virtual worlds movies and what this means about what our society is thinking:

"One life isn't enough for anyone anymore," said Mark Neveldine, who co-directed "Gamer" with Brian Taylor.
"Part of it is people get heavily isolated today and then they also
greedy, they want more than the life they have and what it can offer."

Read on to uncover why the Los Angeles Times thinks the trend of virtual worlds flicks will only increase as we move deeper into the Metaverse.

The Los Angeles Times realizes that film isn't just a medium for entertainment – it's a means for expressing how we feel about things in our society, what we value, and what we fear. That's why the current rush of virtual reality films is an interesting trend.

It's obvious virtual worlds are becoming a larger part of our lives than ever before, with Second Life clearing $500 million a year and social game developers like Zynga raking in over $50 million in revenue a quarter from games with little in the way of graphics or sound. People are drawn into the feeling of experiencing life from another perspective.

But what does this mean for film? As the L.A. Times says:

Mostow said to expect more films where humans face the ghosts in the
machine and search for a human pulse amid the pixels. "The
storytellers are telling tales about things happening in society and
these are the things we're all worried about … I think it's all in
reference to this generalized anxiety about technology and its role in
our lives."

Are we living in an age of techno-anxiety? If the trends in film are anything to go by, this certainly isn't the techno-liberation era of the 1990s, before stocks crashed and the delusional joy of the Dot Com made millionaires into grocery store clerks.

What do you think? Techno-fear? Anxiety over moving from a physical body to the virtual? Leave us a comment.

5 thoughts on “The L.A. Times Contemplates America’s Avatar Addiction”

  1. Sounds like an interesting article! Now if only there were some way I could get to it from your blog post. Like if a bit of the text where you introduce the article were underlined and in a different color, and clicking on it would take me to the article on Geoff Boucher’s latimes.com blog, then I could go straight to the story. I think such “hyper links”, if you will, could be incredibly useful.
    Also, I’m teasing. 🙂 Love the blog.

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