The Virtual

Danielle picks up the material parts of the internet and digital technology that I raised but thinks some of it must be virtual. We use ‘virtual’ to mean that we digitise stuff and once this was thought to make it ‘immaterial’ so what sort of media it was originally doesn’t matter to the system. A bit of video is the same as a bit of text to the network. That is true. Just data to be pumped around. But it is still stuff, and that is something that contemporary thinking in these areas is increasingly paying attention to. The other use is thinking that what is presented is virtual as an ersatz copy of something real. Except with digital stuff ubiquitous I’m not sure we gain much by thinking it is different. We don’t talk of cinema as virtual reality, and to my mind Second Life is anything but ‘real’!