From William Gibson's brilliant Spook Country:
"Then why aren't more people doing it? How's it different from virtual reality? Remember when we were all going to be doing that?" The yellow rectangle was made of die-cast hollow metal, covered with glossy paint. Part of a toy.
"We're all doing VR, every time we look at a screen. We have been for decades now. We just do it. We didn't need the goggle, the gloves. It just happened. VR was an even more specific way we had of telling us where we were going. Without scaring us too much, right? The locative, though, lots of us are already doing it. But you can't just do the locative with your nervous system. One day, you will. We'll have internalised the interface. It'll have evolved to the point where we forget about it. Then you'll just walk down the street..." He spread his arms, and grinned at her.
"In Bobbyland", she said.
"You got it."
This is the big one, the one that'll make the web and the Internet and games that take nigh on half a billion dollars in their first week look like a minor distraction, a sideshow or at best a precursor to the main event: an interface that seamlessly overlays a locative virtual environment on the corporeal world. So I can walk around New York playing Grand Theft Auto XIV with the other half million people who have bought into that particular virtuality, while you're playing some LRP World of Stacraft with a different half million guys in the very same space. Over to the endlessly fascinating Grant McCracken:
"I love the idea of sharing New York City with people who are playing an Area/code virtual game as a result of which the city takes on new drama and urgency that completely involves them but remains invisible to me."
You can already see the beginnings of this in PacManhattan and the - now sadly defunct - Botfighters. Incidentally, if you're long virtuality you should be short as hell on real estate. When I take my exodus to the virtual world and start living in a castle made of pixels I'm not taking half a million quid's worth of bricks and mortar with me. From that point my postal address will probably be a shipping crate.