We're getting closer and closer to life in The Matrix. I say this because now the virtual worlds of MMORPGs contains in-game copies of real books and real world authors can go into the virtual world and virtually autograph these virtual books. BoingBoing blogger and author Cory Doctorow is going to be signing his latest work, Someone Comes To Town, Someone Leaves Town, on July 24 in the virtual world of Second Life. Fans will line up their virtual characters to meet Cory's virtual character and, virtual pen in hand, Cory will be signing the in-game books by clicking his mouse to stamp his digitized signature and dedication.
[R]eaders just have to bring their copy of his book to the event, and set it on a small table in front of Cory. To autograph it, Cory simply has to mouse-click the book, which causes a digitized picture of his real signature (with author's dedication) to be superimposed on the cover. So signing the virtual edition of his book requires about as much effort as it does when he takes pen in hand to autograph the tree-based version.
While I have to question the necessity of virtual books, it's about time that someone used the virtual confines of a MMORPG world to meet and greet fans. Imagine if your favorite author, actor, or musician appeared in virtual public. Unlike appearing in the real world, if the fans became too wild the celebrity could just sign off, fizzling away into nothingness and leaving the fans to brawl and swarm amongst themselves. Of course this would eventually lead to virtual paparazzi and virtual topless pictures of celebrity avatars, but there's still some merit to the idea. The idea of virtual meet and greets, I mean. Not virtual topless pictures. At least not until technology improves.