The Countergaze: Your Watch Being Watched

12.05.2015 § Leave a comment

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With the traditional glowing rectangle mediums, you were comfortable knowing that no one knew where on the screen you were looking. Sure, They might know which frame was being displayed when, but eye-tracking never became popular on laptops in time for the average person to worry about web ads knowing if one had made eye contact or not.

Eye-tracking won’t be standard on first edition consumer versions of virtual reality head mounted displays, but head-tracking is by definition part of the equation with such a screen. Thus in order to experience virtual reality media one must turn over information about at least generally what one is attending within the content at any given time. Even disconnected it may be recorded and leveraged locally or later transmitted.

If online social media summoned an age of increasing self-image-consciousness, (especially social) virtual reality will summon an age of increasing consciousness-consciousness. We will invite each other to participate in a system whereby we share with each other, at least indirectly, nothing less than the terrifying intimacy of our own gaze, in all its continuous, jittering, embarrassing, incriminating completeness. We will slip deeper into a perpetual policing state where we are less ourselves and more stories desperately trying to weave themselves into a complicit fabric of society going through sanctioned motions.

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