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Source: Idoru, Page: 291

And Arleigh said she should just wait. Because that girl in Mexico City, more than anything else, needed to be somebody else. And, it didn't matter that she hadn't been Zona, because she?d made Zona up, and that was just as real.

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In many ways this quote is beautiful, for it mirrors exactly what so many go through, and the curative effects of a VR, outside of actual medical usage. Mercedes, like so many others, was so utterly dissatisfied with her life and the potentials for her life, that she sought to become someone else, as completely as was possible. If a physical change was possible, there is no doubt she would have taken that as well. It is a situation all too familiar to those whom for whatever reason beyond their control, their life has turned into guano.

On the flip side, Zona Rosa may have been invented, but the personality - as is very frequently the case - was not a joke. Instead, Mercedes poured her all into it, mind and 'soul'. In every single way other than physically, Zona Rosa was the real person.

Unfortunately, in this instance the new persona was housed in illicitly borrowed resources. It is also quite often the case that those desiring such a complete change of person, lack the resources to do so themselves. It is of course not always the case, as utter despair at life, has nothing to do with the amount of money a person has. Still, in all too many cases, the resort to illegal procurement of computing power and storage space, may well be the only option, to truly create a new persona in it's completeness.

Ultimately, if it became possible, and socially acceptable to use donated resources or a government sponsored approach, many if not most of those who seek less than honourable means of re-expressing themselves, would undoubtedly benefit.

In a way, this approach is also the same as the one in which VR is used in doomsday scenarios: If virtual life offered hopes and possibilities beyond what the offline one could ever offer, who would choose to stay offline?

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About the Book 'Idoru'
By William Gibson
Produced By Penguin Group

Idoru is a strange novel in many ways. It is a William Gibson cyberpunk novel, set in the dark days of the near future, written by one of the masters of the genre. The book itself is dedicated to a concept that is not quite with us yet, but may well be here in the near future ? cyberpunk apes reality.

Teenager Chia McKenzie loves Rez, one half of a duo band called Lo/Rez. Unfazed that Rez is the same generation as her mother, she lives in the digital world of her sandbenders. Age, gender, history, none of this really matters in the cyber world. Only ability matters.
Click here for full review of Idoru

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