Why are we settling for navigable space as cyberspace?
“We are not moving any closer toward systematic space; instead, we are embracing aggregate space as a new norm, both metaphorically and literally.” Manovich explains our society’s acceptance of cyberspace as a new type of space, and our settling with it. This is disconcerting to me. I understand that this space can represent a plethora of worlds: from the interface of a video game (an entire world in something like SecondLife) to the world that is the internet- simply an abundance of connected files. Why, though, have we settled for this as cyberspace?
Professor Chun alluded to this settling in one of the first lectures. Before the Internet existed, people had grand visions of what we called “cyberspace.” It was to be something you could enter virtually and live a virtual life. Neuromancer is a great example. It is a stylized version of cyberspace. Professor Chun even said that William Gibson was very disappointed with the first computer and the Internet. Furthermore, The Matrix serves as a good example. That is an actual space that one can enter. Our modern version of navigable media space is far from this.
Have we completely given up on the idea of an actual virtual world? There is still a separation between us and any space interface, even if that space is one of virtual reality. Is it possible to collapse the area between us and the media space enough so that we can enter it? I hope our society continues to aspire to this. Manovich’s text should serve as an explanation of our current spaces, but not something to settle upon.
PS Professor Chun- I have the Ivy League Swim Champs from tomorrow to Saturday, so please don’t call me out in class because I posted my blog early! I won’t be there!