The Futurist: Living the Virtual Life

Typical day. School was boring, except for my technology lab class. We hung out at Brian's playing Xbox Madden 2010 against a team from Ukraine after school. We dominated. It seems like our global power in gaming continues. Then we watched a Russian movie with the Ukrainian guys. By the way, Russian cinema is pretty wild.

Oh yeah ... the best part of the day was when Brian's sister Rachel got into a fight with her friend Lori. I guess Lori had fooled around with Rachel's boyfriend or something. Anyway, got the whole thing on video. Sweet! That vid will get thousands of views on my Web site and increase my share of Google served ads! At this rate I could pocket $10,000 if my links all work. Dad had no idea I'd be using the new live stream camcorder for such noble pursuits. Best birthday gift ever. I love videoing crazy stuff like that and having it wirelessly upload in real-time to my site. Who would have thought I would be a live broadcaster?

On top of the cash I am earning through Google, I've compiled over 900,000 points on [the snowboard company] Burton's online community. Only 100,000 more points and I can get a free snowboard. With thousands of online communities popping up everywhere, all the companies are pretty desperate to get you to interact with their sites. It's pretty interesting that I can earn points toward free stuff by uploading crazy pics and vids to my profile and based on how popular they are I earn points. I only have enough time to interact with a couple communities for brands I love.

You have to be careful though. My buddy Jeff uploaded some spring break video that got him booted from the Apple community. He was only 10,000 points away from getting a free iPod hologram. Rough. Okay, so I also get "viral" points that are worth two regular points to spread the word about Burton's snowflake foundation. Charity is cool ... especially when you're earning points for a new snowboard!

I am going to ping this girl I like, Becka, and see what she's up to. You have to love video conferencing built into our LCD TV. I control all the monitors in my room from my PC. I tried to hack into the whole home network to put my content on the living room screen during a family dinner. That didn't go over too well!

Anyway, Becka is looking fine on the big screen! I guess you could say she is my virtual girlfriend. Although I probably share her with like a thousand other weirdos in cyberspace. Who cares that I have only seen what Becka looks like as an avatar? Everyone has virtual friends now.

When those sensor gloves come out next year, then we'll talk about weird. Nintendo has them on their new game system. I know a kid who retrofitted the gloves to his computer and now he can touch things in Second Life like, you know, walls, furniture, and even hold hands with his Second Life girlfriend. Creepy.

Alan Cohen is executive vice president/managing director of Initiative Innovations and Entertainment. (

Ed. Note: This is the second installment in a series of columns taking a look into the lives of different people and how they will use technology, communications and media in the future. In this installment, we take a peek at the online diary of a 16-year-old male in 2010.

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