Overpromise, underdeliver

14 May 2010 0

This article from the Guardian website yesterday makes me really annoyed. The headline says ‘Virtual reality used to transfer men’s minds into a woman’s body’.

Now, look me in the eye and tell me that that doesn’t sound like the most awesomest news story ever. The reader’s appetite is further whetted by the standfirst: ‘Researchers projected men’s sense of self into a virtual reality woman, changing the way they behaved and thought’.

Come on, it’s got sex, robots and out-of-body experiences. It’s like Battlestar Galactica only real. Until you read further, that is.

The thrust of the article seems to be that researchers put a VR helmet on a man so that he was “in a woman’s body” (i.e. if he tilted his head downwards, he’d see some boobs and maybe the hem of a skirt), and then slapped him.

It ain’t news, it’s barely science (not once it had been filtered through the university’s PR department and the Guardian’s editorial process, anyway) and it’s not even fun.

We have learned a very important lesson here: never promise cosmic robo-sex fun and fail to deliver it. You will not be easily forgiven.


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