On Extended Reality
In lieu of the August 1 Memorial Day of Digimon, I marathoned the first and second seasons of Digimon. Watching it again made me notice the theme of parallelism and juxtaposition of the two worlds, namely the Digital World and the Physical World. The state of one reflects the state of the other. If there’s a disturbance existing in the Digital World, then it would probably create a disturbance as well in the Physical World. Whenever I think of this, I can’t help but associate it to Summer Wars (not just because of Mamoru Hosoda).
Summer Wars, albeit farfetched on its own (Internet controlling mere traffic lights), was more successful in trying to portray how disturbances in the Digital World could affect our lives and even lead to death of a beloved one. Digimon is of course, more farfetched than Summer Wars since the effects of the disturbances in the Digital World is manifested through warp gates opening in the Physical World thus enabling Digimons to travel to the Physical World and wreak havoc.
Naturally, I’d say that every bit of information that the Internet possesses influence our every day decisions. From researching homework, up to knowing the latest news. Nowadays, Internet also already allows us to perform online business transactions and of course, catch up with our friends through the (in)famous social networking sites.
Like what I’ve said regarding the connection between the two worlds, it’s quite hard to establish the neutrality of the other to another. If there’s a mess in Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking site, chances are, it will materialize as an issue in the Physical World or vice versa. The cyberspace has slowly become an extended reality for almost everyone, of any age.
“Extended” reality is actually an understatement. Anything that’s an extension, is just an accessory. I doubt everything in the cyberspace is mere “accessory” for everybody. The “me” in the internet is undoubtedly a part of me, that’s not just an accessory. This goes back to the reasonable connection between the Digital World and the Physical World because this overlapping concept of individuality from both worlds results to the connection that ties the two. Your avatar in the cyberspace can never be the real you, similar as to how the physical you can never really show who you truly are. You can never separate the you in the Physical World and the other you in the cyberspace because the combination of the two actually forms your true persona. Thus, a disturbance present in one world leads to a disturbance in the other. One can never truly separate it completely.
In Durarara!!, Mikado is both an ordinary student and leader of the Dollars and he’s not just the latter or the former – he is the combination of the two. When both Anri and Kida got involved with the mess between the Yellow Scarves and Dollars, one can’t really say that Mikado was able to detach himself from being the leader of the Dollars even though he’s only an ordinary student by default in the physical world.
To wrap it up, both Physical World and the Digital World reflects and affects each others’ status primarily because the two are pieces of who we are and of what the world is. Yes, we are also made of the bits of these files, documents, and data that the Internet has.
image credits: pixiv users Rella/C80土セ-02b, ni, シエル