Ann Parker here, every other Thursday at the LadyKillers. When the topic of virtual vs real life loomed on the horizon, I became aware (or, maybe *more* aware) of the role the virtual world plays within the walls of our humble abode.
In fact, I went on a hunt. A hunt for virtual items. (And no... I don't mean WoW--World of Warcraft--items, etc., although those certain take up significant mental space and energy in the room down the hall from my cozy little office here.) I went hunting for items that promote/enable a virtual life. And I took photos (which you might consider virtual evidence, I suppose).
Here's a sample of what's taking up space around here:
Keyboards that look like they belong as part of a jet cockpit... a drawing tablet that lights up and has an electronic pen...
And, let's not forget:
Yes. We are deeply embedded in the virtual world. Mostly, when we are all at home, the house is filled with silence, interrupted only by the click... click... click... of (computer) mice echoing from the various corners of the first floor.
Of course, there are pluses to the virtual world. Our gaming expert regularly plans, strategizes deploys, and manoevers with his wide-flung cohorts, located throughout the North America region, in real-time to beat "the game" (whatever game has captured their interest at that time). Our artist creates magnificent masterpieces with a swipe of a tablet pen and Photoshop, and then displays them for comment and critique on the deviantART online art community.
So yeah, we live in a virtual world. But to be fair, our home also includes other representations of the "real world." Representations such as:
Books... and puzzles...
And aren't these representations or virtual in themselves of something more than ink and paper (or ink and cardboard, for the puzzle).
And what is recorded music (see CDs and a speaker below) if not a "virtual representation" of the real McCoy? Because, after all, recordings captured electronically through iTunes or on metallic CDs (or vinyl records) are the only way I am able to enjoy the sounds of a full orchestra or a musical group within the four walls of my little office.
So, for better or worse (probably a little of both), I do think the virtual world probably wins out in this household.