2D B4 3D? That Is The Question

Shana Tova 2U from Second Life | שנה טובה מסקנ...
Image by VRider goes Web3D via Flickr

Or, to put it another way, can Second Life activities on-line be seen as a rehearsal for face-to-face relationships in the real world?

Social network Plurk has already given Second Life the status of a country,  and now commercial interests have gone a stage further by providing an interface between 3D reality and 2D fantasy.

The seaside town of  Atami in Japan is offering young men a tourism destination to frolic with their virtual girlfriends.

 The resort is based on a game called “Love Plus,” which encourages players to develop long-term relationships with virtual women . One hotel has gone as far as putting a barcode in its rooms, allowing players to see their “girlfriends” in a more private setting wearing  “summer kimonos”. Hmm.

While it’s obviously a great sexual relief to be able to practise, er,  frolicking  with the fantasy of your choice, it’s a little difficult to actually hold a hologram.

Fear not! There are further developements.

 In the underground sub-culture  known as Moe, in Japan,  men who are  obsessed with pubescent, female, Anime figures form “relationships” with body pillows covered with the girl’s image.

Sam Fox merchandise

Anyone else ever buy a Sam Fox pillow? (Too much information. Ed.)

Moving on.

Pillow girls and their 3D boyfriends

Cultural observers say the rise of 2-D love can be pinned in part on the difficulty many young Japanese of modest means have in geting to grips with modern romance.

More than a quarter of men and women between the ages of 30 and 34 are virgins; 50 percent of men and women in Japan do not have friends of the opposite sex, a government survey reports.

This phenomenon is by no means confined to the Far East.  In Germany, “Generation Porno” is said to be more chaste than debased.

Figures released recently by the German Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) showed that “overall German teens are less sexually active than they were in 2005”.

We will not speculate on what kind of sexual relationships these teens were having 5 years ago. Will we?

But the problem remains – how do you have  a sexual relationship without just diving in at the deep end, so to speak? And, having made a tentative commitment, what if it doesn’t live up to expectations?

Fortunately, the rubber industry has the answer. Or, at least, it did for a 50-year-old Italian man, who went to adult toy-maker, Diego Bortolin in Treviso, Italy, with his request.

He was apparently so obsessed with his girlfriend that, even after she dumped him – for reasons we can only guess at – he wanted a life-size doll made in her image.

He put together a collection of photos of his ex and commissioned Sgr. Bortolin to make a sex doll.

 “I want it just like her but with bigger boobs”, Italy’s Il Messaggero newspaper said. The cost? A mere US$18,000.

There is no truth to the rumour that he was later seen wandering around the resort in Atami taunting Japanese youths by saying ‘”Been there, Done that. Got the pillow.”

What was it people used to call practising sex on your own? Something onan inane, no doubt.

Thanks to:

 
 

Resort Attracts Men With Virtual Girlfriends : Discovery News

 http://mashable.com/2010/08/31/virtual-girlfriend-vacation/

http://www.weirdasianews.com/2009/08/30/japanese-men-give-meaning-pillow-talk/%20cyber%20affairs.

http://www.thelocal.de/society/20100902-29573.html

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/the-other-side/man-replaces-ex-girlfriend-with-custom-made-sex-doll/story-e6frfhk6-1225912671577

http://www.samfox.com/

Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You. Personally. Every Day. On Twitter.

Reports are scudding around the Social Media blogs that PR professionals are beginning to realise that press releases are not as important as they once were.  xprs_rocket_blastoff_291738_tn

Importance, of course, is a relative term, but a recent poll seems to indicate that  professional communicators are thinking twice before writing and submitting press releases. If they do decide to send one, it’s for a specific reason; if not, they’re confident they can target reporters and editors through other means, such as Twitter and Facebook.

The earnestness with which bloggers and pundits are commenting on this trend conjures up an image  of self-important bustle as tweets are sent hourly, in case the media star it was intended for was reading Facebook instead.

 According to Lindsey Miller of Ragan Communications, somebody else applauded social media tools for the level of control it allows, “It depends upon your audience, but you can reach your clients directly with your message intact”.

This is the kind of clarity we want from communication professionals, no hedging, tell it straight, quote your source.

The PR crowd  seem to feel that social media are being used more in PR, and that press releases are less relevant in those areas because it’s too much of a scatter-gun technique.

Putting to one side astonishment that PR people think that anything is irrelevant, this targetting of individual movers and shakers in the media does rather indicate that professionals would prefer to  talk to other professionals rather than boring  old John Public, who may not even be interested in what they have to say.

As Lauren Fernandez, marketing coordinator at American Mensa says, “We use all the tools to try to reach a limited pool of people who have to decide what’s important.”

Quite so. Deciding what’s important is not something that should be left to every Tom, Dick and Harriet who has a Facebook or Twitter  account. But don’t take my word for it, ask the PR gurus.

     glastonbury-terrier-jackrussel-1520532-tn                                                                  They’ll tell you what to think.