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Virtual false Reality

by Julz

This clip from the movie Johnny Mnemonic is just one example of interactive that was featured in the movie. It uses visual social interaction.  This uses human computer interaction between Johnny and the receiver on the other end. Later on in the film, it is discovered that the man who Johnny was talking to was not a man at all, but a puppet.  Takahashi has his hands in a way that mimics an actual man.


So therefore, we can say that Johnny Mnemonic was talking to a false being though virtual reality.  This begs the question is virtual reality real or fake in this particular world.  Johnny was manipulated or ‘tricked’ into thinking that he was talking/seeing someone that could help him.


What makes this clip so interesting is the fact that in today’s time, there are virtually no payphones in existence. Cellular phones have replaced payphones and are able to do similar face-to-face calling. Additionally, face to face chat is also used in a variety of computers and computer applications such as skype, google chat and aol.


This is a classic example of photo or computer deception as found in the excerpt, ”Remediation” By Bolter and Grusin.  When I look at this clip, I think of the photo that showed “real” fairies flying around little children. While the photograph and children are real, the fairies are not. The fairies were just an image on top of the real photograph.

RE: Virtual False Reality

by Sanghee Oh

To Julz's argument, I would like to point out that in this particular clip there are a couple other factors to consider: first of all, here Johnny is trying to use a personal device that resembles the look of old fashioned telephone. He plugs in this analog-looking device with a punch pad into the digital commercial phone service machine, and attempts to reach a "real person". Not only it is one of the examples from the film that depicts technology in a negative light, but also it shows a certain degree of nostalgia to the past, wanting to restore the way people interact with each other (and this should be targetted to a specific desire of the audience). The other factor to consider is that the first thing the security guy who appears on the screen says is "this is not a listed number, how did you get it?" Given that this is a AT&T commercial phone, his line adds another layer to the illusion of having an exclusive, "from the real person" service by accessing the non-disclosed number. These two "illusions" are not necessarily the characteristics of virtual reality however. They are commonly found in the realm of commercial advertising.

Johnny Mnemonic ATT pay phone

The telephone network serves as a home for benign spirits, a conduit for identity theft and product placement for AT&T

from Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Creator: Robert Longo
Posted by Critical Commons Manager