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Source: Virtual Light, Page: 266

But when you were doing it, designing your car or whatever, you could get this funny sense that you were leaning out, over the edge of the world, and the space beyond that sort of fell away, forever.

And you felt like you weren't standing on the floor of an old movie theatre or a bowling alley, but on some kind of plain, or maybe a pane of glass. And you felt like it just stretched away behind you, miles and miles, with no real end.

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This is a kind of desolate feeling, a feeling of being all alone in a never-ending world, that stretches to infinity all around you. It is actually a feeling current social VR environments have been capable of replicating for some time. When building on a social platform like Second Life, or ActiveWorlds, designing buildings, scenes, bridges, rides, all manner of vehicles, you do so in a flat world which does indeed stretch on forever, or as near as makes no difference, in every direction.

This can elicit feelings of profound and total loneliness, when there is no-one else around, no sentient creatures, avatars, or bots, just you, creating something on a plain, that houses countless thousands of other creations, and stretches further than you could cover in a lifetime.

These feelings usually mark the end of a building session, as most people depart at this point, either out of the environment all together or just retreat to another part of it, a part with people, other minds to touch, rather than pure desolation.

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About the Book 'Virtual Light'
By William Gibson
Produced By Penguin Books Ltd

"Those VL glasses. Virtual light.
She'd heard of it, but she wasn't sure what it was. "They expensive, Sammy Sal?"
"Shit, yes. Bout as much as a Japanese car. Not all that much more though. Got these little EMP drivers around the lenses, work your optic nerves direct. Friend of mine, he'd bring a pair home from the office where he worked. Landscape architects. Put 'em on, you go out walking, everything looks normal, but every plant you see, every tree, there?s this little label hanging there, what its name is. Latin under that.""

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