Thoughts that are Influencing My Current Writing Project
It's 4th of July and I'm going to write about what I've been writing about. This is going to be a bit Meta.
I started a new short story the other day. I've been wanting to write a something that is CyberPop. It has all the technology of a CyberPunk story, but instead of being in a dystopian world, it is more optimistic. I asked for examples of CyberPop on Google+ the other day, and someone mentioned that we are living in a CyberPop world. I agreed with that sentiment. Just as an example, I would say that Big Hero 6 is definitely a CyberPop story. (In fact I first heard the term in connection to Big Hero 6.)
Another concept I'm exploring with this piece that I think goes hand in hand is the idea of Manufactured Normalcy. It's a term first coined by Venkatesh Rao. (You should probably just stop reading this and go read that blog post. It's amazing.) I've been reading a few people talk about it, and there seems to be two sides.
The first and primary is that we as humans reject things that are too weird. The Segway and Google Glass both failed because they are just too weird for us. They don't fit into our current metaphors for activities. The iPad succeeded because it fits the metaphor of a magazine, or a large phone. (If the iPad had come out before the smartphone, would it have been less successful?)
The second part is that when we are forced to have something that is weird, we quickly adapt it into our lives and it becomes mundane. Warren Ellis talks about Mount Olympus Mons on Mars and how Manufactured Normalcy applies to it. To paraphrase, he said that the mountain is tall enough that it nearly reaches space, and that the slope is so gradual that one could walk up it. If there was a society that lived on Mars they would be completely bored with the idea that one could simply walk into space.
Virtual Reality is a thing which at the moment does not fit Manufactured Normalcy. I think this is why Microsoft is trying the Hololens, which I still don't think is the right metaphor. I love VR, and I'm excited for it, but I don't see it taking off until someone can figure out how to incorporate it into the Manufactured Normalcy Field.
In my story, there are pockets of people living on the edge who are using VR to connect to and visit virtual shared experiences. These are all very indie experiences and not AAA experiences. So, corporate america is trying to pass some legislation to bring the VR world under the Manufactured Normalcy Field. This legislation is of course complete fiction and not the right answer, but it serves my plot.
My heroine is a teenage girl who has crafted one a virtual club that has some level of success. She is also a Youtube Personality which is something that I'm actually not very familiar with. I feel that it fits the story right, but now I need to go find some video game oriented Youtubers. I'm excited about this story, and I feel like I'm pushing my boundaries by trying to say something with my fiction. I'm also having to do a fair amount of research for this.
Hopefully it works.