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Neal Stephenson Says Video Games Are the Metaverse

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the wish-those-games-didn't-bore-me-so-quickly dept.

Books 176

An anonymous reader writes "In an interview with Forbes Magazine, Neal Stephenson says the 'Metaverse' he created in his seminal novel Snow Crash missed the point — and that video games like World of Warcraft are the true future of cyberspace." Forbes writer David Ewalt seems taken with Stephenson's new book, REAMDE, which I'm looking forward to getting my hands on.

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176 comments

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When on your deathbed... (4, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457120)


This is why our society is headed towards looking like the morbidly obese blobs in "Wall-E"!

Don't go outside into the REAL WORLD to exercise and socialize, just sit on your butt playing video games and pretending the people in the games are your real friends. All the while you get bigger and more unhealthy... eating garbage food and have subluxations grow.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing inherently bad about video games (we own an XBOX360 with Kinect) but expecting to go into these make believe worlds and flourish while the Real World You rots is absolutely disgusting. I'm 5'11", 160 lbs and haven't wavered for ~15 years.

Folks, enjoy casual gaming. Please make sure you get out for exercise, good nutrition and adjustments.

Think about this: at the end of your life, you won't look back over the course of your journey and think "Gee, I wish I played MORE video games."

Follow my journal for more health advice.
Take care,
Bob

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457176)

Except skip the part about subluxation and chiropractic adjustment because that's just pretty much bullshit.

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457196)

And organic/holistic suplements....

Re:When on your deathbed... (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457180)

lol... oh dear.

Re:When on your deathbed... (3, Interesting)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457202)

Uh, looks like you forgot to sign in as Dr. Bob there, grub. Secret's out.

Re:When on your deathbed... (4, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457272)

Damn... it was a good run. Realized as I clicked Submit that I was in the wrong browser.

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457414)

Hahaha, classic fail.

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457448)

And so ends a legend.

Re:When on your deathbed... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457518)

Not with a bang but a *click*.

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457522)

Wow! You are like Sherlock Holmes! Incredible work there.

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457678)

Even if the criminal trips up and practically hands over the evidence necessary to convict, someone still has to bring him up on charges.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457308)

Don't get too stressed out, wouldn't want some micro subluxations to develop from awkward posture induced by repeated face palming.

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457362)

I gave you an insightful mod but I expect it to be buried by negs. You've criticized a lifestyle that is extremely common, and no longer exclusively among nerds. But it is a problem. This lifestyle is almost the anti-nerd lifestyle. Science is a means to do things, discover things, and create things. A lifestyle that revolves around shooting animated characters with animated guns is distinctly anti-intellectual. It's no different than excessive drug use or television viewing. Something to distract one from reality to get their mind off the fact that their life isn't amounting to anything of any value.

When you tell people this in blunt terms on /., you get modded troll.

When you tell people this in a cute movie called WALL-E which exaggerates their lifestyle to such a degree that they can say to themselves "that's not me, that's someone much worse than me, I could never be that horrible," you win an Academy Award.

Re:When on your deathbed... (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457484)

You had a good run, and you will go down in history as a trolling legend, so don't feel bad.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457632)

I was posting on Usenet in the days of Archimedes Plutonium. This guy is an amateur.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

cje (33931) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458540)

There's a difference between a troll and a crank. Ludwig was a crank.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458850)

I was posting on Usenet in the days of Archimedes Plutonium
I guess the proper answer to that is "me too!"

Then there was Steve "Speed Bump" [last name redacted], the crank AND troll who spewed all over Software Tool & Die for many a long year.

Sad news ... Dr. Bob, dead at 54 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457506)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Chiro shill and all-around quack Dr. Bob was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon..

Re:Sad news ... Dr. Bob, dead at 54 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37458372)

Netcraft confirms it!

Re:When on your deathbed... (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457526)

Aww... gotta say though, the Dr. Bob troll was by far the best I've seen in the last 15 years or so. Congrats on a brilliant run. Not surprised it was from an old-timer.

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457562)

Don't forget PizzaAnalogyGuy.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457580)

Thanks! :)

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457858)

Solid work, buddy. Really classy all the way. It's sad to see it end this way, but all good things must come to an end.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458014)

I'd say it was funny, except you ran the joke into the ground. How much time total did you spend on this little project? Also, you were evidently complaining about slashdot heading down the tubes while injecting shit into every other discussion.

squid (Score 1) by grub on Thursday September 15, @11:52AM (#37410324) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Low-Cost Tools To Track Employees' Web Use? Use squid and a squid log analyzer. Since when did Ask Slashdot become a Google proxy? Sheesh.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458154)

That's just one comment in a silly Ask Slashdot question.
Overall it took very little time. The ability to post only one or two times per day makes the time needed almost self-limiting.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457220)

I'm not going to get to the end of my life and think, "Gee, I wish I had spent more time outdoors", either.

While you're preparing for a good life later, I'm living a good life now. I've seen too many people that only plan for the future, throwing away their life to get some imagined success later. You have to enjoy life NOW.

Sure, some thought should be put into also having a good life later, but getting outside is not going to do that for me. In fact, it's much more likely that staying inside and working on the next big thing will do that for me than random nature hikes.

Live your life however you want Bob, but stop telling others how to live theirs.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457996)

Yeah like my dad always tells me, those "3 extra years" you get from torturing yourself with diets and exercise are 3 more years in diapers, in an old age home, or running around trying to remember why you keep forgetting everything - not to mention 3 more years you have to try to live with no income.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458616)

While he's very much correct, I try to think of the quality of life improvements I'll get in my 40s through 60s from regular exercise now.

That and looking better never hurts things with the ladies.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

AlamedaStone (114462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458062)

Yeah, that's what's wrong with the world today. Too many people looking at the long term, too few people worrying about shortcuts, quarterly reports, and what to cram down their gullets. Forget all this delayed gratification garbage! Throw off the shackles of a longer and more rewarding life! Our voices will be heard!

As soon as I finish watching this show.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458788)

Hmmm... does that mean you'll take the long walk when it comes your time then?

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457228)

Thanks for that! Seriously - it's mindblowing to me that people - especially those who work with computers - can feel socially satisfied if most of their social life is virtual.

Go to work - stare at glowing rectangles and press buttons all day.
Come home - stare at glowing rectangles and press buttons all evening.

Don't people realize that it actually feels good to be out interacting with real people? You know that if you keep up your appearance and actually be interesting in the real world the sex might happen outside of WOW and second-life.

Sad that anti-social hiding behind avatars and appearing as you want to be, not you you really are, is becoming so acceptable.

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457350)

Isn't "keeping up your appearance" and "actually be[ing] interesting" the very definition of "appearing as you want to be"? It's a shortcut, not a completely different process.

You may or may not have some good advice for someone who isn't socially satisfied, but since you begin with saying that that these people are, I don't see how your comprehension and approval are relevant.

You don't seem very accomplished at personal interaction to me; you seem judgmental and insecure.

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457714)

My wife drags me out to places where I have to interact with people. It is not pleasant. I have strictly ZERO interest in the mindless stupid that people leak from their mouths. I don't need it and there is no reward for suffering it.

On a good day I can get through every part of my routine without other people involved. I just dont get any sort of reward from including people in my regular life. Listening to my wifes adventures at the end of the day is about all i can stand. I set aside my projects put my eyes to the floor, grit my teeth, and feign interest for an hour until she gets it all out of her system and then I am back at my life again.

Don't be surprised that there are tons of other people out there who process their life this way exactly and are perfectly happy and healthy. They even exercise on their own and eat properly. But they do it ALONE. I sometimes do wonder if it may also be part of a bigger coping mechanism for living in the US. Whatever it is, my rewards come from the exclusion of other people.

I don't socialize in mmos either. It's like taking the best part of gaming and stirring in the one element you were trying to avoid. I would prefer something like oblivion where the world is completely available for my modification and need only satisfy me however I see fit.

I do socialize in mud sometimes, when the rp is absolutely strict.

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457812)

Don't be surprised that there are tons of other people out there who process their life this way exactly and are perfectly happy and healthy.

Yeah, they're called people with aspergers.

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457968)

Wow... so... how many guys do you think your wife is banging who actually can appreciate and relate to her before she drags herself home to try again to reach her loser husband and try to bring him back to reality? Are you even married or are you LARPing a 21st century American?

Re:When on your deathbed... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37458482)

HAH implying guys were actually interested in and relating to her and not just getting banged

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457244)

Except you can exercise in video games. Witness Wii Fit etc.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457304)

The Real World has been overrated and not nearly enough fun to spend time grinding hardcore in ever since the "fall of man" patch removed the "endless youth" passive. I'm not even going to touch on the "babel" server region split debacle or the "dark ages" event that bombed so hard the server practically reset.

No, I gave up on playing the Real World long ago. There's no inventory carryover and a full loot+permadeath system just encourages griefing and abuse of the system by massive clans/guilds/corps/govts.

Maybe I'll hit the trenches again once the "zombie apocalypse" patch launches, but of course the devs won't even give players an ETA on that one.

In all seriousness, the body is just a machine that keeps the brain alive. As long as the machine is running, who cares if it runs a bit rough? All it needs to do is run long enough for us to figure out how to plug a brain into a machine and perform a full copy/info dump. Once we reach that milestone, physical/corporeal bodies will effectively be meaningless.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457658)

Maybe you just suck at playing it?

Re:When on your deathbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457778)

QQ moar noob.

Re:When on your deathbed... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457336)

Hell, I don't even play video games anymore, but the long hours of coding have lowered my basic physical conditioning dramatically. For several years I was going to the gym and hitting weights and treadmill, but I've realized that's missing the basic physical activity people need. When I tried to slim down two years ago, my blood sugar went crazy for the only time in my life. I actually had to return to being slightly overweight to get things right again, because my daily activity was so lacking. I was running at the gym more than I was walking. Things are getting better with the changes I've been making -- more walking; changing to a few, compound weightlifting exercises; even healthier diet -- but I've realized full-time (or more) desk jobs are inherently unhealthy, and everything else you do is a band-aid over that fact. I still love math and making software, but I'm going to move that to part-time as soon as I can.

Re:When on your deathbed... (3, Interesting)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457626)


If only you had seen me for proper adjustments, you wouldn't have made such a silly mistake.

Remember folks, to avoid ending up like "grub":

- Eat well, preferably an organic & vegan diet.
- Get plenty of exercise.
- Get plenty of sleep
- Visit your local Chiropractor for regular adjustments. This will help maintain your nervous system and ensure you are using the correct browser at all times.

Take care,
Bob (RIP)

Didn't RTFA (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457144)

Because there is no link to TFA to R :(

Re:Didn't RTFA (3, Funny)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457370)

We need to get creative! Just pretend that I've just insulted your operating system of choice. Go on a rant. I'll respond with something about linux running on a beowulf cluster of laser headed sharks, and with any luck we'll be able to get this one back on track.

Now all we need is a link to a web site. I, like many others, can only enjoy reading slashdot when I know that there is a small web server somewhere in the world, all alone, sitting in the dark, crying at the load that's been placed on it..... :*(

Re:Didn't RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457438)

What do you mean my rock turning mechanism is too slow? I have almost infinite time YOU INSENSITIVE CLOD

(Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.... thats the fucking point)

Re:Didn't RTFA (2)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457390)

I wonder how many people noticed that before commenting.

Re:Didn't RTFA (1)

gatzby3jr (809590) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457428)

You must be new here.

Ready Player One. (1)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457174)

Re:Ready Player One. (1)

chromas (1085949) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457554)

You really expect us to read all that?

No more monks and pilgrims! Please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457240)

Please God, tell me Neal Stephenson's new book isn't going to be about boring monks and pilgrims and shit!

Re:No more monks and pilgrims! Please? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457582)

Most of the stuff I hear about Anathem discourages me from reading it.

Re:No more monks and pilgrims! Please? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458340)

I really liked it, but then I slogged through all of his books, so take that for what it's worth. It does tell a good story, but like most of his stuff it's needlessly wordy. There's really only one story flaw (in a SF story, never explain the details of how the warp drive/phasers/whatsit works - no one cares), and it is actually original - an almost-new idea for a SF story.

REAME is out today (1)

overlordofmu (1422163) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457248)

I think his new book is out today, anyway.

I got my hands on an pre-release reader copy and I love it. It reminds me of 'Crytponomicon' in many respects.

Re:REAME is out today (0, Flamebait)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457400)

Life is too short to read Stephenson.

Re:REAME is out today (0)

overlordofmu (1422163) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457862)

And it is also too short to list the names of the hobos that have boned your mother, but the hobos and your mom were happy, so why are you hating?

Nice stretch (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457258)

Wow. It's been several months since a story was posted that completely forgot the link the the article.

Seriously, do you guys have a "Doh!" session everyday after work where you smack your palm into your forehead over and over to pay penance for your daily editing? If you do maybe it's time for a helmet .

Cyberspace? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457274)

Sorry.. I can't take anyone seriously that still uses that word.

Re:Cyberspace? (1)

Rizimar (1986164) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457804)

Why? It's still a concept that we've yet to fully witness. Cyberspace was the idea that humans would be able to transcend their own biological limitations by injecting or integrating their consciousness into machines. It's an idea that has been explored since Vernor Vinge published "True Names" in 1981. In works like that, Tron, Serial Experiments: Lain and other "cyberpunk" fictions, the worlds that people perceive are constructed out of how the human mind interprets the data being presented to them, like an extended imagination that builds a perceived environment out of data so that it's easy for a human to explore and use. Those worlds don't actually exist.

That's why video games such as WoW are probably the closest things that we have to cyberspace today: while we're not as fully-connected to a machine and we don't actually extend beyond ourselves, we are still presented with data by the computer which renders it for us into things that we can identify and understand. Our imaginations don't have to work too hard to translate the icons in a video game into functional concepts.

But if anyone used the term information superhighway seriously, it would be time to leave.

.

Re:Cyberspace? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37458362)

He found his Metaverse, next target is the Underverse, that collection of dark planets where we can begin a new.

Daemon and Freedom(TM) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457280)

Please, if you like Snow Crash, read Daemon and Freedom(TM) by Daniel Suarez. I found them very enjoyable, and frightening realistic. I think you'll enjoy them, too.

I'll just be skipping cyberspace then... (0)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457316)

I'll continue to fill my free time working on personal projects or having sex or playing with my kids. I honestly don't get why anyone would want to spend extended periods of time leveling up a wizard so they can ride a glowing horse and I really, really hope that isn't the extent of the future of cyberspace.

Re:I'll just be skipping cyberspace then... (2)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457548)

I'll continue to fill my free time working on personal projects or having sex or playing with my kids.

-1 questionable usage of "or"

Re:I'll just be skipping cyberspace then... (1)

pseudofengshui (1432581) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457928)

Yeah, skimming the text, I completely glossed over the words "or playing"

Careful with sentence structure (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457618)

I'll continue to fill my free time working on personal projects or having sex or playing with my kids.

Why don't you just take a seat right over there...

Re:I'll just be skipping cyberspace then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457870)

Nobody is asking you to "get" why anyone does anything, Ward Cleaver. You don't like gaming... that's fine. I'm sure there's plenty of things YOU do that others find contemptible (your spawn comes to mind).

So just STFU, let us have fun the way we wish to have fun, and we'll let YOU have fun the way YOU want to have fun. Mmmkay?

The true future ... (1)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457330)

Needs more minecraft

AR MMORG (1)

Gnaythan1 (214245) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457344)

Heh how long before people start playing these games actively... say with a motion joystick like a wii remote, and a pair of AR glasses, so they are now wandering around fighting orcs on quests in real time.

Wonder how long it would be before someone gets in trouble, probably by not paying attention, or possibly by realistically brandishing something resembling a weapon in a public place?

Re:AR MMORG (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457476)

People are already wandering around, not paying attention, and getting in serious trouble with just text messages. That said, I doubt "active" playing will take off until it's either like holodeck but I imagine that a matrix like system would be more likely.

Re:AR MMORG (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458004)

No need to exercise - there's a pill [msn.com] for that... or will be.

Kidding aside, I have a friend with a laptop stand on top of her treadmill so she can exercise and play WoW at the same time (actually, I believe she and her hubby quit WoW recently, but my point is she combines exercise with gaming). I usually stationary bike while watching TV, but the only problem is I don't watch much TV. The last show I found worth watching was Game of Thrones. I guess my despising reality TV doesn't help (I live in reality - I want escapism).

Re:AR MMORG (1)

pseudofengshui (1432581) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458056)

Fun with quotation marks: "brandishing" something resembling a "weapon"

Metaverse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457354)

From what I remember, the metaverse was way more VR. Like [shudder] Second Life, or Minecraft, where you actually have control over your surroundings.

Re:Metaverse (1)

Ruke (857276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458696)

It was, and, if you read the interview, Stephenson says, "No, I was wrong. WoW is where it's at." The problem with Second Life is, once you get over the novelty of having an avatar, it's really just a huge, elaborate chatroom. World of Warcraft, on the other hand, has all of the important social aspects: communities, chat, emotes, avatars and it gives you a reason for being there: playing the game. It being a game is really a critical distinction. It pulls all sorts of people in, not just those exclusively interested in forming some sort of online community. It justifies a payment mechanism, and funds servers, development, and advertising. It gives people a common goal that they can complete exclusively in the context of the metaverse.

Stephenson got the "online alternate reality" aspect of it right way before it actually happened; he just didn't see the correlation between "expensive 3D rendering engine" and "games," because, with the state of hardware, it was way, way too expensive to even consider doing at the time.

Did I Miss Something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457356)

From the article:
"Neal Stephenson is known for writing big books about big ideas. In Cryptonomicon, he tackled code breaking and data privacy; the three-volume Baroque Cycle explored the birth of modern economic systems."

I thought the Baroque Cycle was about the Enlightenment Era and the development of physics/calculus? I guess at 3000+ pages it was about a lot of stuff.

Re:Did I Miss Something? (1)

Ruke (857276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458734)

It was, but it was also about the evolution of financial systems. (Most of the stuff with Eliza was about the advent of the stock market, investing systems, and banks' roles in this.) It was also about religion. And pirates. And politics. The Baroque cycle was five or six stories, each with their own themes, all weaved into one universe.

Videogames not... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457376)

... really a "metaverse" since it takes enormous amounts of cash to build and maintain the things, if videogames are the metaverse then it's a metaverse everyone will be paying monthly fee's to support to enjoy.

The game industry is on a slow push enclosing some of their games as MMO's they'd like to eventually enclose all games behind walled gardens with DRM/MMO as copyprotection and then hit us all with monthly fee's. Time will tell if gamers will just take it up the bum like morons. But if league of legends, Heroes of newerth and other Free 2 play games are anything to go by the end of the single player game that you actually own may be on it's way out driven by clueless teens as demographics shift.

Re:Videogames not... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457442)

...single player game that you actually own may be on it's way out driven by clueless teens as demographics shift.

Speaking of demographic shift, in the US inflation adjusted income at the median has been dropping steadily for about two generations and shows no signs of improving. Meanwhile the price of things needed (as opposed to luxuries) has been climbing steadily thru natural resource depletion and printing press operations, so the cost of housing, food, transportation, all that has and will increase. So the median masses of the population have less free cash every year, and probably always will. And the plan for a blockbuster new game is to grab a large slice of that steadily shrinking pie.

Yeah, what could go wrong with wanting a bigger slice of a shrinking pie? Good luck MMO operators, you'll need it.

Re:Videogames not... (1)

TallDave (916610) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457568)

Real median income has been stagnant since around 1999, but it sure as hell hasn't been falling for two generations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_income_in_the_United_States#Over_time_-_by_Race_.26_Sex [wikipedia.org]

Heck, today's poverty line is about where the median income was in the 1950s (yes, adjusted for inflation).

Re:Videogames not... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458182)

That's using the fake low inflation rates, and lots of hedonics, like substituting ground mystery meat for tenderloin steak.

Re:Videogames not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457828)

But if league of legends, Heroes of newerth and other Free 2 play games are anything to go by the end of the single player game that you actually own may be on it's way out driven by clueless teens as demographics shift.

That's stupid. The rise of the F2P model does not require the fall of the traditional ownership model. Furthermore, playing such games does not mean one is a "clueless teen" or any other such asinine term that really means "someone who has the nerve to have tastes that are not identical to mine".

Re:Videogames not... (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458384)

I play League of Legends quite often, and I'm far from a clueless teen. (I really really hate the clueless teens that play the game-they have no concept of how to work on a team).

Premise of Ready: Player One (2)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457402)

If you were born in the late 70's, are reading this article, and like fiction, consider reading Ready: Player One. [boingboing.net]

It's founded on the same premise -- video games become the metaverse. But what if that metaverse was written by Richard Garriott? And cost just one quarter to play? I read it, and just loved it. Even my 10 year old daughter loved it!

Re:Premise of Ready: Player One (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457510)

But what if that metaverse was written by Richard Garriott? And cost just one quarter to play?

Then I would be losing quarters dying of starvation while searching for reagents.

Metagame by Sam Landstrom is better IMHO (1)

hitech69 (78566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457404)

I think if you want to see what things could be like with a merge of reality and virtual (augmented) reality, you will enjoy this. Many connections can be made with current gaming and this novel.

http://www.amazon.com/MetaGame-Sam-Landstrom/dp/1935597167/ref=tmm_pap_title_0 [amazon.com]

Re:Metagame by Sam Landstrom is better IMHO (3, Interesting)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457520)

There's also Charlie Stross' "Halting State" [antipope.org] , but he chose to write it in "second person" style which is highly offputting.

Nope, not gonna happen (1, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457508)

video games like World of Warcraft are the true future of cyberspace

The artsy craftsy types have been tying to ram that idea down our throats for generations, always with a promise that with just slightly better technology we'll all virtually drive to and then virtually walk around in a 3-d rendered virtual bookstore to find our books using our eyes as our "grep" command and then wait in line in a virtual 3-d line for a virtual 3-d emo slacker teen cashier to ring us up on a virtual 3-d cash register, which we'll pay using digital cash rendered as virtual 3-d gold coins by manually moving those simulated virtual coins out of our virtual 3-d rendered pockets and handing them to the emo slacker teen cashier kid who virtually places the virtual coins in the virtual cash register, one at a time.

Um, no, tried all that, the future way to buy books is amazon.com. Nobody wants that artsy craftsy B.S. Nobody. Makes for a nice story, thats about it.

Pretty much (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457910)

The future of "cyberspace" is, well, what we've got right now. An open, extensible, infrastructure on which we can run whatever sorts of things we like. Different applications for different things. There will never be a unified interface for everything because, well, why would we want that?

The brilliance of the Internet and the reason it grew as it did is that there is no lock-in. All you are locked in to is the basic protocol, and all that does is transfer data. Everything past that is up to you. Different needs can have different applications, and those can change over time.

There is just no reason to want to try to force everything in to one model, and particularly not the model of 3D characters interacting.

Re:Nope, not gonna happen (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458166)

...which we'll pay using digital cash rendered as virtual 3-d gold coins by manually moving those simulated virtual coins out of our virtual 3-d rendered pockets and handing them to the emo slacker teen cashier kid who virtually places the virtual coins in the virtual cash register, one at a time.

I knew it! This is a bitcoin story in disguise! Burn the heretic!!!!!!!

Re:Nope, not gonna happen (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458342)

Yeah virtual 3D environments assume that the best interface is the real world, which is horribly incorrect. Reality is what we got stuck with, that doesn't make it optimal.

Not a very good one though (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457534)

Second Life is kind of close to the Metaverse. You can run a server on your own equipment. But it also sucks. I mean, it's amazing for what it is, but you can't even build a proper-sized doorway and expect to navigate through it conveniently. What year is it? Let's have third life please.

In the mean time, while we're talking about Stephenson tech, can we get some decent wearable computers please? Where is my cheap eyetap? :(

Re:Not a very good one though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37458158)

Actually, it's called iTap and you could own one if Samsung didn't have it locked up in a patent dispute right now.

REAMDE review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37457574)

Starts off well. Degenerates into shoot-them-up-in-the-woods.

Exciting thriller sort of book. If I wasn't a geek, I might think it was a techno-thriller. Whatever the hell that means.

Loved the gaming bits, online currency bits, random geeky bits. Loved the characters, baddies and goodies together. Loved the insightful travelogue. If the entire terrorist sub-plot (or rather, second act) had been chopped out, I would have loved the whole thing.

Disappointing cyberspace (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457648)

"In an interview with Forbes Magazine, Neal Stephenson says the 'Metaverse' he created in his seminal novel Snow Crash missed the point — and that video games like World of Warcraft are the true future of cyberspace."

They are?

Aw. That's really sort of disappointing, given what we were promised.

Then again, the future IS only the future until it happens. Then it becomes the present, which is never as good as the future was. Maybe when it's the past we can look back on when it was so much better.

Cyperownership (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458174)

A subject that I thought about a lot after first reading Snow Crash was the concept of "ownership" in the metaverse. If I remember correctly (it's been a few years) the main character was sort of rich because he was in on the metaverse early and owned a bunch of virtual "land". I recall trying to get my head around how ownership could even work in a peer-to-peer system where the bits and pieces of the metaverse are running on various computers and mobile devices around the world.

Companies like Linden Lab have taken a centralised approach, but this doesn't really equate with the ideas in the book. Now it seems clear that the answer is something like bitcoin, where a proof-of-work can be used to make copying impossible. If bitcoin could be used to organise a fully peer-to-peer cyberworld then perhaps there could be some mutual benefit there -- a way to organize land ownership, and a way to assign solid value to bitcoin.

I suppose in a way this is what namecoin is attempting to do by organizing a replacement for DNS around a similar concept.

TC Disrupt winner - Facebook with Avatars! (1)

xanthos (73578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458178)

Apparently this years most disruptive technology of the year is a virtual bar/avatar layer called Shaker slapped on top of facebook.
http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/14/and-the-winner-of-techcrunch-disrupt-is-shaker/ [techcrunch.com]

Because everyone knows that the real people around you are all losers and the best people are all elsewhere.

Sad, really sad.

Not Warcraft is Second Life or Minecraft (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458316)

Warcraft is not a good example.
User created stuff does not exist in Warcraft. It is little more than a dress up show you pop in and out of.

Worlds like Second Life or Minecraft where you can create structures and influence the world and others can experience it are more like true cycber space.

More accurate to say... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458604)

That subdomains such as WoW are the collection of uber-cyberdomains (i.e that interweb thingy) in which humans interact more than some others. The Scada domain? Not so much.

Not sure where facebook falls here. Subdomains evolve, I guess.

Second Life anyone? (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458650)

Yeah. It’s just inherently more interesting to enter into an art directed alternate world, where you can go on adventures and get into fights and engage with the world that way, than it is to enter a world where all you can do is kind of stand around and chat.

Zing! I guess he doesn't have a fist-full of Linden Dollars he's spent long hours earning.

Judge Book by its Cover Art (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458678)

Anyone else put off by the books cover art. It his name in huge white letters on a black background. It looks like an autobiography not a science fiction novel. The title of the book looks like a subtitle to his name.

On reading floppy disks (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458846)

1. Doing a disk dupe to binary file might yield a zip files that are corrupt, but if the zip header contains offsets where in the archive a file starts, you might have a use for just the files that you can recovey. You may still be able to unzip the rest. I assume that if this were "mission critical" data, you'd have backups, and that this is mostly a nostalgic recovery. Even if you can't recover all files, you'll have a use for the bits you *can* recover.
2. Do try the suggestion of using a different drive. The Superdisk recommended by another poster can be found- there's one going on eBay right now (pick up only- but people may be willing to help you get it posted).
3. If you live in a moist climate, your floppies may be unreadable due to mold. I've rescued many floppies by spinning them in an open, headless floppy drive and very gently removing the mold with a cotton bud dipped in medicinal alcohol. DON'T DO THIS unless there are visible dull/nonreflective spots on the surface of the floppy.
4. Make sure the drive heads are clean before attempting to read any diskettes.
5. It helps to actually still have a computer old enough that the BIOS can read floppy disks! If you do, it also may still be able to run CopyIIPC, allowing you to backup your floppies to empty ones (if you can find them!) before attempting further recovery.
6. The suggestion of a previous poster to try "all binary combinations" in a zip file may not be as hopeless as it sounds. When there's an error on part of a sector, the first part of the sector will read intact, the damage will be random and the rest will likely be a bit-shifted pattern of the original image (due to lost sync). Based on this, you should be able to make a pretty good estimate about the first and last part of the sector and you'll only need to correct the middle (assuming a sector only has 1 read error). I learned this when doing research for a home-brew copy protection mechanism based on the position of tiny holes drilled in floppy disks.
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