this spartan life/air traffic control

23Aug05

I don’t usually like to take up too much time posting links that have already appeared on bigger, better, far more popular sites, but here are two links that I think are particularly interesting.

This Spartan Life is a “talk show” that takes place in the virtual game environment of Halo 2, an on-line game in which thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of players participate simultaneously. What I find most interesting about this show is the way in which the producers are reinventing a space of consumption as a space of production. While this is problematic on the one hand (I think it’s symptomatic of the fact that actual spaces for public use and acts of public participation are dwindling rapidly), on the other hand it is a radical appropriation of what I consider to be a generally highly reactionary game environment. Only one episode has been posted so far, but there are two really interesting interview segments (with Bob Stein and Peggy Ahwesh), an interlude with the “Solid Gold Elite Dancers,” and a segment that satirizes the vacant content of televized political “debate” programs. I’m not sure what the politics of the producers might be, but they’re clearly not liberal concessionists or right-wingers. My guess is that they rank somewhere on the left/cyber-anarchy scale.

This Spartan Life

And here’s a fine, and terrifying, link to a quicktime movie that simulates a “day in the life” of commercial air trafiic over the United States.  No wonder things are hotting up on this planet.

Quicktime movie of one day of U.S. air traffic

Both of these sites were originally found on BoingBoing.

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