Monday, January 30, 2012

Jacked In

The most amazing thing I saw at MacWorld|iWorld wasn't an iPad or app. It wasn't a Mac or an iPhone. It was a young man who was so lost in the Metaverse that he didn't notice when I bounced balloons off his head. Let me explain...

On Friday night there was a great party at a bar on Broadway. There was a rock band, with Paul Kent, the organizer of MacWorld|iWorld, and others playing loud 1980s music, a circus act, free booze, lots of hooping and hollering, laser light shows. Mac fans gone wild!

At one point, a bag of balloons dropped from the ceiling, with hundreds of balloons in old-Apple rainbow colors. People started hitting the balloons every which way, and popping them. If we had been in New York, and not mellow San Francisco, people would have run to the door. (It sounded like gunfire).

In front of me, a young man was using Facebook on his iPhone. For an entire 10 minutes he stood in the midst of chaos, reading Facebook comments. (He wasn't even posting something new, just reading comments.) There were people dancing, laughing, taking pictures, stomping balloons. Women on stilts gyrating above our heads. A buxom blonde in a barely-there Octoberfest outfit, roller skating around the balloons. Guitar solos, drum solos, more balloon pops.

None of this fazed the young man. He was utterly still except for his scrolling finger. He looked like a Second Life avatar frozen in space as the user updates his appearance.

So I started bouncing balloons off his head. He didn't notice. He was jacked in, like in Snow Crash. I should have whipped out a Samurai sword and popped a balloon in front of his face. Would he have noticed? Probably not.

No comments:

Post a Comment