SUPER-NEWS: EXPERIENCING INFORMATION
Beyond the Super-news door itself within the Spiral there are no physical limits to architectural possibility; no boundaries with how to receive and explore the breaking events, ideas and opinions crackling across the globe.
The overall impression is of clarity and glass, transparency and enclosure, as the structures vary between open, square platforms and closed, focused ‘pod spaces’ that resemble plant buds with windows. When entering it is almost like some polished tree, or some organic, interconnected plant. Avatars are either seated or quick-moving as they work on all the live broadcasting activity and extra content that the world seems to require.
Before you choose to enter such a hub, in a small nod to the past, a young, scruffy ‘avabot’ stands outside the door reading out headlines. The boy stands on a stack of virtual newspapers and his hair moves from the simulated breeze coming from the nearby portal. He carries a paper rolled up and calls down it from time to time. Other shreds of pages blow across a cobbled, foggy street that sets the outside scene, as if the doorway was set in pre-war London. If you hold out your hand your avatar will be thrown a copy, and on opening it there are — in this old-fashioned, broadsheet format — many customisable story feeds, videoclips and numerous options for interaction. Tapping thrice with one finger on a story allows you to jump ‘into’ the headline, clip or article — and into a space within Super-news designated for all the work unfolding on the chosen topic.
It’s another feature of this living, breathing organ through which to access coverage and debate; the bright, essential evolution of news coverage blossoming in the new, immersive virtual fabric.
I’ve only been there a few times.
No, unless you work with news you wouldn’t have to go there. Today, as usual, I just jumped directly into my personal ‘feed-space’…
Here, the bigger stories mix with my own interests and appear in a floating grid of moving images, easily rotatable with voice and gesture. Selecting an item will cause my headset to conjure a huge, all-encompassing ‘presence’ inside a changing landscape of footage, where a recent story occurred, or still unfolds — live — all around. In every one it features a smart lady dressed in white. She always appears in the midst of it, and I can make her small or large, or just move her aside.
This is my News-Guide and it was her — who I’d only vaguely customised — I needed today. Not only did she recount to me what I wanted to see and hear about the world — tell me about any aspect of a story — but she could converse with me too. I pulled her out of the default story.
Everything faded to white so that the ceiling was indistinguishable from the floor. But her figure remained visible, sitting on a simple white sofa now, looking at me expectantly; pleasantly.
“Any recent article about Benjamin Fielding,” I said to her and, also, the empty space around her, filled only with possibility.
A virtual paper appeared in her lap and she began reading it out, only without looking at it. Images and helpful graphics appeared occasionally behind her and the sofa to help illustrate the content, some of which had been designed specially to accompany the piece.
I don’t often extract stuff but today I grabbed the article from her and threw it out onto my linear blog — here — for later thought and comment: