For the past few weeks in Representing Earth, we’ve been talking about Liveness – simultaneity across space, first in the context of video, and then in the context of other data (geolocational, emotional, energy and environmental, etc.).
TweetCraft is a good example of how “live data” may expand our notions of place and presence. A third-party app for World of Warcraft, TweetCraft enables users to send Tweets in-game, AutoTweet based on game events, and post images from the game to TwitPic.
I decided to follow some TweetCraft users on Twitter, and it was a bit odd at first to see World of Warcraft messages mixed in with the usual tweets. Game designers have traditionally kept virtual worlds compartmentalized, walled-off from the real world. But as real and virtual merge, we should consider how our representations of place reflect the amalgam. Many visualizations of real world data, including emotional, geolocational, and resource-based, can be applied to virtual worlds, and perhaps even more interestingly – cross-referenced.
All of this actually loops back to our discussions in class on “Just Like Being There” (photo-realism and the psychophysics of perception). One of my favorite parts of exploring that topic was running into this YouTube clip of a film inside a holodeck inside a virtual world. We’re generating data on multiple “layers of reality,” so it would be fascinating to see visualizations that reflect that multi-dimensionality.
Note: [also posted to my personal blog]