The above video went viral last week, turns out it was an created by a group of Canadian students at Centre NAD for a class. The object was to design a viral video, 37 million views later they won. I discovered this via YouTube and traced back through the over 42,000 comments that it was, in fact, a student project—-I was totally fooled on first look. This video was brilliantly done, with truly convincing details like the low-fi everyman-in-the-park filming, and being sure not to overplay the animated eagle and falling baby. The way in which the bar of entry for shaping reality these days is ever-lowered with the insanely powerful tools we have at our fingertips is mind bending. The seamless fabrication of reality is both inspiring and deeply disconcerting.
After coming off the implications of the above video, my daughter Tess was playing with the AR (Augmented Reality) Game Cards that came with Miles’ Nintendo 3DS. I was truly blown away to find my kitchen table become a field of combat for an attacking dragon. The experimentation they’re doing with some basic Augmented Reality in a handheld gaming device like the 3DS is crazy. I’m just beginning to realize that the future arrived a while ago, but I missed it because I was sure it was supposed to look like a Ridley Scott film. We’re in one of those moments wherein technology is fundamentally challenging the landscape of our reality in simultaneously amazing and scary ways. Much like the advent of the car or plane, our cultural sense of space and time are being altered, with technology like 3D animation and augmented reality we further erode any monolithic idea of truth as well. I think we’re entering a moment in which the once ostensibly stark distinction between the virtual and the real can be blurred routinely by just about anyone with a computer. For me it reamins a strange oscillation between exhilaration and cultural vertigo.
I started thinking how sick it would be if something like Phylo game had AR Cards? The possibilities there are, indeed, wild—it occurred to me tonight at my kitchen table that immersive and contextualized augmented reality environments for exploration is not on the horizon—it’s pretty much here. So crazy. I guess 3D television is finally starting to make some sense to me 🙂 Now where is my totem?