jaron lanier vs will wright on various gaming and VR topics

someone asks if the sims 2 promotes consumerism, will responds that it has a detoriation built in. jaron calls monoculture the biggest mistake of the IT industry, mentions that textbook publishers slipped through legislation to make non-book learning materials not part of the requirements, which stifled VR worlds. will mentions that kids make purchasing decisions for educational titles as early as age 7, needs to be taken into account for marketing. jaron is an adviser for linden labs. jaron is really bugged by the narrowness of archetypes in online worlds, mentions vixens. how can the level of education be improved given that most kids have access to “the library of congress” on their desktop? will thinks it is a motivational problem, and richer tests etc could help. jaron, on the other hand, thinks that “touching reality” can increase learning acquisition. will riffs that technology is an extension of the human body, and increasingly, that body is in the computer. jaron: “bits don’t mean anything, they only encode information in context to reality.” thoughts on teledildonics? jaron: where are the women? :) will: i hear this topic a lot, but never has a woman brought it up. will mentions introverted people that were able to express themselves. someone asks for a powerful meme to spread about the value of play for education. jaron: first some dark thoughts. the privatization and stratification of education (fueled by the minority of white people in the us for the first time) will lead to more future shock. he thinks that we can be gentler on the unwashed (who mostly dislike educated people). will: trust kids, they know what is good for them, let them explore.. someone asks about addiction to online games. will mentions a great scene from a book of the 17th century of someones first encounter with someone else reading a book, with the other person completely absorbed. thinks it calls for a social solution, not a technological solution. some games have negative returns to defeat the 12year olds that had infinite time. jaron wants to turn the question around, asserts that the best thing for a kid to become a highly performant mind is to explore things. mentions infinite games. is it addiction if it is productive? is writing a novel an addiction? what about the arts / science gulf? don’t we need a manifesto for arts education? will: the gaming industry has, in his experience, a much more balanced approach. also, he sees more artists crossing over to technology than the other way round.
jaron: the problem with AI is that there is always a need for a human to assess AI performance. the auto correction feature of word is a good example: is it actually a good feature or not? people have to bend over backwards and “learn” what the feature expects to make it work.