Virtual futures originally happened in 1995 and was a forum for pre milleniu fear of cybernetics and domestical digitisation. I like its approach in re-adressing future predictions through revisiting panels and guest speakers. take a look http://virtualfutures.co.uk
Whereas the mid-90s events were about emergence and understanding of the symbiotic relationship between man and machine, this year’s theme, “Digital Natives: Fear of the Flesh?” is about acceptance. Children born today are being born into an increasingly synthetic worlds of virtual interaction, virtual products (MP3s etc.) and virtual transactions. A reality that would be fitting of a William Gibson novel in which ‘consensual hallucination’ has overtaken and where we would happily purchase small representations of physical objects (such as albums) – a concept only aided by a shared social acceptance. The revival aims to help attendees see beyond the abstraction after all, when you are ‘surfing’ the net – lets not forget that you are actually slamming a couple of keys which sends machine code through wires.