Skip to main content
Buy TET Life art on Skateboards and more. etourist Skateboards Store.

Virtual Reality Addiction Meets Online Shopping and Death!

I'm certainly not the first person to predict the idea of immersive virtual worlds. Movies like Tron (1982) and The Lawnmower Man (1992) are two of the earliest popular culture references to the concept I can think of, off the top of my head. Then of course there is The Matrix (1999) where the VR world idea really hit the mainstream big time.

However, back in early 2005, the practice of online shopping, with real money, for digital products in virtual worlds like Second Life (which was more cutting edge back then) began to meld in my mind with the idea of corporations controlling that experience through marketing and advertising.


Artificial Intelligence was also a hot topic back then so of course that became a part of the mix. I thought corporations would probably use increasingly more advanced AIs to control their virtual worlds and shopping experience. Inevitably something in the programming would fail and virtual shopping could become unintentionally lethal.

All of this would amalgamate into a virtually reality experience that seems so real and immersive that participants would never want to leave their house. They'd simply plug themselves into a computer with their VR headset and waste hours hooked into 'the machine', spending real money on ones and zeroes. Virtual shoes, virtual clothes, virtual experiences etc.

My ideas would emerge around March 2005 as a series of nine short, poetic monologues, each telling a small part of the new world of VR addiction and corporate manipulation. Only two of the monologues made it to a finished art piece.

The first monologue, called 'Rachael', which I recorded as a performance video (below) back in 2008.



Rachael patched in a circuit board
wired to her brain.
The video was intended to be part of the first chapter of a blog I started at the time to feature the monologues and a much more detailed story tying them all together. That blog is now my Animation and Video blog but the first and only post of TET Reloaded, Shopping at Maceys, still exists complete with the opening story.

The accompanying sketch (above) shows Rachael with her Oculus Rift style VR headset plugged in to her computer. Keep in mind that although VR had tried and failed in the 1990s, by 2005 there wasn't really much happening in the mainstream world.

At the same time I began sketching my ideas for VR Headsets in preparation for my first image illustrating the fourth monologue that continues the story of Rachael.

VR Headset ideas by me in 2005.

Most of my headset designs are wired to match the lines in the monologue but if you look at the designs they're not unlike some of the headsets around today. Not that I'm saying I'm a forerunner to any of the current designs. It's not exactly a stretch of the imagination to plan a headset that obviously will need a screen placed in close proximity to the eyes but I'm not too far off what we have now.

Probably the only real difference is I didn't foresee mobile phone screens would be the driving force behind affordable VR head wear. Heck if you have a modern mobile phone you can enjoy VR with Google Cardboard - probably the cheapest option. Phones don't just provide the ideal screen size for a headset, they also include all the necessary gyroscopic and geo-location features required by VR to keep your orientation accurate in the VR world.

Currently VR is gaining much momentum. Could we be heading to VR Armageddon? Not in the immediate future but something like the scenario outlined in my fourth monologue, titled 'Stealing', is not that far fetched. See and read the artwork below.

Rachael's online, VR Shopping addiction solved
by faulty programming... perhaps?

In my monologues the 'nightmare' in question is described as 'The Fabulous Machine'. Some insight can be gained into what it is in the seventh monologue titled 'Revenue Raisers'. This is the first time I've published it anywhere...

Revenue Raisers


It looks like some twisted underworld,
But this is what everyone wants.
Queues to get in,
To be at one with a fantasy.
Better than life.
A promise for everything you,
Ever wanted,
Without getting anything,
Except a debit to your,
Charge Card.
This was the mask that,
Hides a Fabulous Machine.
Revenue Raisers for corporate giants.
Plug yourself in and have,
The money sucked out of your life.

- TET (24th April 2005)

It's certainly a little bleak but shopping yourself to death in a VR world sounds a lot more fun than being enslaved by our machine overlords post singularity.

Who knows where VR will lead us to? Hopefully something better than all of us choosing VR over real life. Unlike reality, VR can be like a cartoon... anything is possible. That's a drug that's easy to become addicted to.

Comments


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Jo's new Art Studio/Conservatory. Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog,  Creating My Oddessey . Y ou should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse. We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against -

Batman v Superman: Dawn of the Onesie #Sadbatman

Although we haven't seen it clearly for sure, film director Kevin Smith (who has seen a well lit, color photo of the suit), says Ben Affleck's Bat costume is pretty much identical to the Frank Miller, Dark Knight Returns suit. If that's true then Ben's world weary Batman will be going 'old school' and be wearing his underpants on the outside (as he should).

One Week on Light n' Easy #lightneasy

My partner, Enigma, and I recently decided to try Light n' Easy to replace all our daily meals in an effort to eat healthier (and not have to think at all about cooking evening meals). Enigma is about to embark on her third week of their full menu but I caved after one and opted just to get the dinners.

Course Review: YouTube for Bosses - Sunny Lenarduzzi. How to grow your YouTube Channel into a Business

YouTube for Bosses Free Mug...  or the most expensive mug  you'll ever buy? I've been subscribed to  Sunny Lenarduzzi's YouTube channel for a few years, learning a lot on how to grow a following on sites like YouTube and Instagram. If you have any interest in growing your own YouTube channel I'd highly recommend watching some of Sunny's videos on the subject.  Definitely explore her 2019 back catalogue for the most useful information. This year she's been on a bit of a 'being authentic' pivot that, personally, doesn't resonate all that much with me (but probably speaks volumes to anyone with similar experience). I'm not saying she shouldn't or isn't being authentic, it's just I didn't subscribe to hear stories about her life journey. To get back on track, Sunny runs a successful online business with her flagship course, YouTube for Bosses , a stand alone paid course that does act as something of a gateway to further paid (but opt

Boom Crash Opera Born Classic But Not Again

Boom Crash Opera are an Australian Band that reached the peak of their popularity in the mid to late nineteen eighties. They are a band that I knew about at that time but was never really excited by until they released their ill fated double album Born and Born Again in 1995 (Album cover pictured). At the time of its release I was very much into emerging Australian musical acts and was also looking out for new sounds that were different and had kind of a futuristic/electronic sound. Artists that I was buying at the time included; Swoop , Nine Inch Nails and Pop Will Eat Its Self . As well as a really interesting release by David Bowie, the concept album, Outside . Born was a fairly radical departure for Boom Crash Opera (BCO). The first single, Gimme , was often compared to the sounds of Gary Glitter, particularly his single, Rock n Roll part 2 , because of the pounding drum loops. Watch the video below. My favorite single from the album is dissemble which probably went now

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Movie Review: Justice League (2017) *Spoiler Free*

I'll say, right out of the gate, I enjoyed Justice League . Sure it has a fairly straight forward, let's get the team together and battle a world destroying common enemy, plot but, after the complexity of Batman v Superman , it was nice just to see my favorite heroes come together and fight as a team. I've seen a few reviews that claim you don't get enough backstory for the newer team members, Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg, but honestly, knowing more about their history isn't essential.