Op-Ed

"I say, Farnsworth, have you seen my e-Monet?"

| 26 Apr 2006 11:25

"Mmm, yes, it is genuine. You might say I had the...Monet!"

A press release made me put on my top hat and monocle for that terrible, terrible joke. Entropia Universe--formerly Project Entropia--announced they were opening a city called New Oxford, which is supposed to be an e-Soho, a "center for all arts, including fashion, music, and more, featuring an art academy, fashion & design institute, multiple art galleries, a music school and museums. The new city will open windows of opportunity for artists and designers looking for new ways to promote and sell various "real-world" artwork, and also allows professors to give live video lessons within the "virtual" art academies and schools...[it] also allows members to purchase virtual designer clothes, artwork, music and more for avatars, as well as for "real-world" delivery on Earth."

So, okay, I'm pretty fashion backward. I wear two colors: black and blue. You know those scenes in movies where they open a character's closet and there's row after row of identical clothing and it's a joke? Well, my closet is like that, and it's not a throwaway gag. What I'm saying is I don't pay money for real designer clothes, so I can't imagine paying money for e-Calvin Klien (or, for that matter, e-Monet). However, fellow staffer JR will not shut up about his Second Life bat suit, and people are already making real, actual money in Second Life designing bat suits (and other fashion accessories) and selling real estate. As realspace and gamespace start blurring, this will inevitably become more common. Maybe the future of VP sales isn't buying a bunch of gold to skip that dungeon the developers won't bother to fix. Maybe it's buying a painting to decorate your apartment, in-game or otherwise, before your in-game art lesson. We're about 10 years away from real cyberpunk stuff like uploading your consciousness to the game itself, but it *is* coming. I'm not sure whether that frightens me or not.

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