The Playful World

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Children of the new millennium inhabit a digital reality. Even now, toys on the shelves this Christmas are interactive, web-enabled, and packed with the kind of computing power the Pentagon would have envied 15 years ago. Consider My Real Baby – described by its makers as an “artificially-intelligent, emotionally-expressive, robotic baby doll, complete with state-of-the-art sensors and sophisticated, sensitive software”. Or how about the hottest item this year, Sony’s Playstation 2 – which offers dozens of three-dimensional multi-player games with graphics as absorbing as Hollywood action films.

The virtual reality pioneer Mark Pesce says this playful world expands human imagination and encourages creativity. As kids conquer the converging worlds of artificial intelligence, nano-technology, and wireless communication we may start to wonder who’s conquering whom? Growing up virtual is this hour on the Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Mark Pesce, Chair of the Interactive Media Program at University of Southern California and author of “The Playful World: How Technology Is Transforming Our Imagination.”