The link above is to a brief article in today's Boston Globe about a deal between Electronic Arts, maker of many video games to present real-time ads on billboards in upcoming games. Users of Microsoft's X-box Need for Speed Carbon, and several other games from EA, when connected live via X-box or PC platforms will see billboard ads that change in real time.
This is one more example of the blurring of the lines between virtual reality and real life. The fabulous popularity of games such as Second Life (see Jim's note here of Wed., Aug. 30, 2006, and my earlier posts about Virtual reality July , April, and March, 2006. The fact that Second Life has a librarian presence on Knowledge Island is terrific! I am fascinated by the use of Second Life for teaching courses at Harvard, in Jim's post, and by the use for speaking engagements noted in other posts here. The rise of quasi-constitutions, behavior rules and statements of rights in these virtual worlds is also fascinating.
See this helpful webography of virtual reality on the Web. And this page on the social effects of Virtual Reality. That's the part that really gets my interest. That last page is the source of the cool image decorating this entry. Humans are hard-wired to build relationships, and maybe hierarchies. Virtual reality is just a new mode. cool!