Posted by Raul on September 16, 2010
Long ago there were exotic lands waiting to be discovered, conquered and exploited, but no more. We already know the whole geography of the planet and there are no new places to be charted and see for the first time, unless we go into space, which is difficult at this time.
But not so difficult to explore new territories in this modern world.
With the creation of the internet a new, parallel world has also been created. A parallel universe that can be traveled, explored and exploited.
Just like when word came about strange, far away lands, with exotic animals and opportunities to become wealthy and famous, the internet offers today the possibility for all of us the adventure of discovery and riches.
In past times people boarded wooden ships and started a journey of months to reach the promised land, some for the wealth, some for the fame, some for the freedom, today people board their private “Stargate” at home and travel to this new universe.
There were also those who were sent to the new lands as a sentence and had to adapt and create a new life in the new place, just like today some people have no option but to try to make the complex and unknown world of the internet work for them as the only alternative left when the economy in the physical world is crushing them.
Some of the original travelers died in the attempt while in the trip or in the new lands at the hands of natives or viruses and wild animals. Today travelers can die (figuratively) with a virus in their traveling ship (computer) or being attacked by nasty hackers, or simply get lost and confused by the many turns of this new world called internet.
Yet, there’s still the promise and motivation of riches and fame for many, so they make the trip with hopes and resolution in their minds, willing to sacrifice time and effort in order to reach their goals.
Some of them come back for a while but they are not the same anymore; they learned the local language and now they speak a mix of the new and their original, just like we see in physical life the creation of Spanglish, we see in these digital travelers the spoken language of “Netglish”, making difficult to understand what they are saying.
Some of these people have learnt to live in this new world and found they fit better than in the original, physical one. They can make friends, find support, exchange ideas and pursue a future in this promised digital land that couldn’t do in the physical counterpart, so they become “naturals” there and leave their physical bodies and basic activities behind just as a life support system.
Now we can find characters like “Total Destroyer” that dominates the game’s arena, give advice in forums, provides information in blogs and in general is respected and feared in the digital world, country of games, city of fighters and building of winners.
He dominates in this new world in his area and enjoy the respect and popularity that comes with it; yet when he travels back to the physical world we found Josh, a fifty years old, short, slightly overweight 5 feet man, moustache, living in a one bedroom apartment, driving an old battered Toyota to his job as a librarian at the local, small, waiting to be close, local library.
We can also find “Mystique Soul” teaching how to find our inner self, live a meaningful life and control our emotions for a more productive and happier life. She is considered the wise and prophetic teacher that help us survive the struggles of physical life in this physical world, and who also fill our senses with the beautiful pictures of nature and strange, epic places drawn by unknown artists.
Then she comes back to physical life to her job as a secretary in an insurance agency office, where she treats customers with the utmost respect and a beautiful smile.
Perhaps one of the craziest things is that now we have many people looking at this new world as the best way to live their dreams of being someone among the crowd; something that couldn’t be achieved in physical life. They become the naturals there and immigrants to this new world.
Then we have the Merchants of the new digital world:
Some of them sell information on how to live in this new place, some selling digital real estate in the form of hosting, some sell the exotic fabrics of Themes to dress up the houses of newcomers and give that personal touch everybody wants.
Don’t forget to implement your new home with the latest appliances and fixtures (plugins) to add functionality and a more comfortable living in your home
There are also those who trade in weapons to defend oneself from the dangers of the new land in the form of hackers, so always carry in your belt your login robot weapon and identity protection software when roaming the digital lands.
Also, don’t forget to get vaccinated with a proper antivirus to prevent those nasty viruses from attacking you.
There are also the endless stores of any city that sell different products for the digital and physical world as well.
Many of these merchants work in the new world to bring riches to the old, physical one.
Then we have the parks created for entertainment and relaxation like the many video sites that we can visit for a moment of free time and unwinding; but there’s always someone selling a treat there, or at least lots of publicity banners trying to capture the attention and business of unaware or not so strong people, just like in physical world.
Tourists are not forgotten in this new world; they can find all kind of “souvenirs” to purchase while visiting for some random information.
We also can see the police force and governmental organization created to control the behavior of locals and visitors alike in the form of possibly banning your login ID. They prevent you from entering some places and/or warn you about the merchandize you are about to see and possibly purchase in different places you can visit (warning pages). Also they can expel and revoke your stay permits if you behave in ways not allowed by the local governing body (banning your IP).
Then you are forced to use a fake ID (IP) by login in a site that allows you to surf from their premises.
We also find the black market of free downloads that established companies fight fiercely.
The old man in a wooden wagon, traveling from town to town telling stories to sell his miracle elixirs is now the site selling the ebook that will fix all your problems (how many of those do you have in your hard drive?)
Some people seems to be born to live and work in this new world by the natural abilities they have to interact and dominate, while others have to set for just sporadic visits to enjoy the place as a tourist and always come back to the old, physical world, where they seem to be more at ease.
Among the many that seem to adapt quickly we can find the youngsters that, given the fact they were born after the digital universe was created, they are growing and developing inhabiting both worlds at the same time, so their life and activities are adapted to this special conditions.
Their physical activities become reduced by the increased interaction with the digital world. For many adults that used to develop their activities in the physical world alone, the creation of the digital one has come as a simplification of many of the tasks that used to be part of their daily lives, yet they remember the old ways and, even though they wouldn’t like to go back to the old procedures, their minds still can process the possibility.
Yet for the youngest the stories of normal activities when only the physical world existed seem to be tales closer to fables or legends than past reality. Their eyes become bigger and their excitement grows when listening stories of children making toys out of cardboard and wood, and the enthusiastic stories of their parents about the fun of riding a bicycle, feeling the wind and overcoming purposely created obstacles like riding over a small rock without falling seems many times too much of a simple or stupid activity to participate in.
Physical movement slowly but surely is becoming an accessory in life rather than a natural part in the human body’s daily activities. The mind runs in the new digital parallel universe while the body remains in the physical world, just as an anachronism for the many that could happily migrate completely to the new digital universe.
Perhaps one of the tasks the younger generation will impose themselves in the near future would be to find the way to completely migrate to this new universe, so their lives would be closer to what can be seen in digitally created movies, which are closer to the reality younger generations live nowadays.
Then maybe some of the science fiction stories of the past could become the reality of the future, where digital thinking and feeling entities coexist with the physical ones, each one in their own world but both interconnected, and even deep friendships and love could develop among them, when they fail to find counterparts in their respective worlds.
This new world exists and is more than just a communication channel!
Now we have a complete new world that coexist parallel to the physical world and people of all walks of life traveling day and night between the two, in search of a personal, more meaningful life for them, without having to fight and win in a physical world that, sometimes for some, seems to have not enough room for everyone’s success.