Thursday, November 11, 2010

To a mouse, a cellphone is a home theatre.

And a spool of thread shall be your dinner table.

Just a thought I had the other day that I hadn't thought about in awhile...

Back in 2006 and '07, I was a pretty serious habituate of the virtual reality known as Second Life, which in its early days was a real Wild West of illegal activity and copyright infringement, because of no one paying attention back then to what was going on there; and since one of the things you can do in Second Life is stream in a video file from elsewhere on the internet, a big thing that a lot of people did back then to generate traffic to their location was establish "virtual movie theatres," where they would stream in Bitorrented bootleg copies of current movies in an actual 3D theatre-like space, and with you able to sit your avatar in one of the theatre seats and watch it. And what always struck me at the time about the experience was how easily you could fool your brain by the set-up; that when it's in the context of a tiny little person sitting front of a relatively giant screen, your brain is easily tricked into thinking that it's actually watching a giant screen, even though in reality the movie file is just a little window within whatever normally-sized computer monitor you use on a regular basis.

"Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH:" Greatest. YA. Novel. Ever.

I was thinking about this because of a recent conversation I was having with a friend, where we were discussing our mutual love of booting up Netflix Streaming on our iPhones; he was saying how every time he does it, he thinks of those old cartoons where mice are shown using tiny human implements as full-sized devices (a thimble as an ottoman, a toothpick as a sword), and how to a mouse, an iPhone running Netflix would be literally like a giant home theatre. So now I think about that too, every time I watch Netflix on my iPhone, and it's just funny to me how easily you can trick your brain into thinking it's actually watching this giant high-def television the width of the whole room, as long as you're picturing yourself as two inches tall and sitting right in front of it.

That's all!