Archive for the ‘summaries’ Category

Legitimacy of VF

July 21, 2010

Staff of the VF Clinic presenting at the recent DAW 2010 Symposium in Xi’an, China. Photo: Rasmus Vuori.

In public forums we often get questions about whether and how we hope to cure Internet addiction. Sometimes, and now is again one of those times, we are put in the midst of questions about the legitimacy of our entire project. First, since we are in the process of clinical trials, we do not know if Virta-Flaneurazine is an effective treatment for Internet addiction or WDD (Wanderlust Deficit Disorder), only that we have designed the drug study to address these issues. We are also well aware that Internet addiction, as a disorder, is itself a question. If there is a doubt raised by treating a disease with something of the same order, we need only look at the concept of inoculation.

If the question is whether this study is a hoax, as has been raised on and in the last day or so, We would have to answer clearly, no. We are Artist/Doctors. We have an actual programmable drug that works if you follow the proper procedures. When we have put the clinics into operation, three times in the past years, and all documented on this blog, we have interviewed scores of clinical volunteers who have taken VF in our guided presence. We have tried to conduct things in a manner that conforms to the highest clinical standards.

If the question is about the morality of introducing drugs to the virtual world, as was particularly raised in our past interview by W Radio from Bogotá, Colombia (see “Reality Addiction” blog entry),  we need only respond by pointing out that gaming programs such as Grand Theft Auto allow users to steal cars and kill people willy-nilly. The very goal of VF is not mayhem and social disorder, but release from increasingly habitual virtual daily habits.

If the question is about the relationship of virtual and real lives we need only look at online stock market fluctuations and economies or gaming modules and military drones. These days, what happens in the virtual world, happens in the real world.

Virta-Flaneurazine-SL, Midterm Report

March 11, 2008
The four-member team working on Virta-Flaneurazine-SL began its work in the fall of 2007 by isolating and analyzing the Virta-Flaneurazine-SL molecule and building the clinic in Second Life. Both of these endeavors have been successful. Reports on both areas follow.
VF Pill 01
Virta-Flaneurazine-SL Molecule:
Mass spectrometry suggests that the Virta-Flaneurazine-SL (VF) molecule resembles Lysergic acid diethylamide in many respects but with an extra molecular structure attached similar to 3-Mercaptopropionic Acid (3-MPA). 3-MPA is known to produce symptoms of disorientation. Presumably this accounts for the combined symptoms of wanderment and hallucination reported by patients. The results of our analysis of the VF molecule makes us confidant that we might now be able to dispel some of the misconceptions of composition that have previously circulated.
VF Molecule 01
VF Molecule 02 
A number of the hallucinatory effects of VF have been programmatically discovered and can be rather easily triggered using both internal and external scripting. In the process of this research, the experience of “tunneling” was discovered to be a recurrent symptom. This means that at times patients perceive themselves moving down a tunnel or into a spiral. Searching into his own past, Dr* JC Freeman, realized a recurring attraction to the notion of mazes or labyrinths, while Dr* WD Pappenheimer remembered painting numerous spirals early in his teenage years.
VF Hallucination 01
The wanderment prograchemistry has also been well charted. The auto-body programming compulsion to wander randomly and aimlessly has been isolated and written. The problem of understanding means for auto-teleportation has been overcome through a series of assays and is now a usable. This prograchemistry represents mostly the external portion of the two-part drug. The further understanding and mastery of creating a long-term multi-variant wander excursion, responsive to individual patients experience, represents the challenge of future work in this area. The capability to translate programming to cross-platform technologies will also be addressed at the final stages of the research.
VF Hallucination 02
Virta-Flaneurazine-SL Clinic:
Finally, the in-world construction of the clinic is proceeding as planned and most of lab equipment has been delivered. The clinic has a furnished waiting area, situationist reading materials, a front counter, a good supply of medication, an exam room and necessary medical charts and equipment.
VF Clinic 01
This will be the location for in-world patient reception, recruiting, interviews, exams and distribution of the in-world dosage of the trial VF and placebo. Clinical study forms are being prepared and submitted for review and approval. 
VF Clinic 02
When completed the administration of the trial will ensure that patients clearly understand the nature of their participation as well as provide the data, which might influence the patient’s response to the trial.
Finally, plans are being drafted for the deployment of the out-world mobile clinic, consisting of a standing hospital curtain, two interview chairs, transit files and a data projection of patients’ experiences. The out-world mobile clinics will be important points for initiating and continuing patient relationships.
 VF Clinic 03

Virta-Flaneurazine-SL, Clinical Study ©

March 8, 2008
Dr* WD Pappenheimer, Pace University, NY
Dr* JC Freeman, Emerson College, MA 
Virta-Flaneurazine-SL or VF is a potent programmable “mood changing” drug for Second Life (SL). It is identified as part of the “Wanderment” family of psychotropic drugs because, when ingested, it automatically causes the bearer to aimlessly roam the distant lands of SL for up to a full day. As the prograchemistry takes effect, users find themselves erratically teleporting to random locations, behaving strangely, seeing digephemera and walking or flying in circuitous paths. Many users report the experience allows them to see SL in a renewed light, that SL is somehow reconfigured off the everyday limitations of a fast growing grid of investment properties.
The prograchemistry of Virta-Flaneurazine derives from a formula which the authors of this study, Dr* WD Pappenheimer and Dr* JC Freeman, conceived and began to synthesize some time ago. It was leaked to the public via an assistant programmer. It will soon be available on the SL “black market.” For obvious and important reasons Dr* W Pappenheimer and Dr* JC Freeman would like to conduct a complete laboratory synthesis and begin clinical trials so that the nature, effects and side effects of the drug can be reliably outlined. Tests will be both objective and subjective.
The prograchemistry is and will be mostly completed in LSL, though some events will require external interactivity via System Events from AppleScript and Perl. Some hacking into SL source code may be possible and useful for certain behavioral properties not native to LSL. User input (see Clinical Study Prospectus below), the prior experience of the user, will affect the prograchemistry of each trial in terms of directions, destinations and behaviors. This will be accomplished through initial form entry and userstats. However, the randomizing features of this “Wanderment” family of psychotropic drugs is the dominant operating control of many of its “events.”
Clinical Study Prospectus:
Each clinical study of Virta-Flaneurazine will begin with participants logging onto a form site. Simple questions will be asked about user experience, attractions and repulsions, since these principles are known to affect the behaviors of “Wanderment” drugs. Users will be encouraged to enter an alias or avatar identity, since this drug is not yet FDA approved or classified. Once registration is complete, a custom desktop active ingredient will be downloaded and participants will be directed to a site in Second Life where the second part of the drug will be available for ingestion or “wearing”. (It should be noted that at the time of this proposal Virta-Flaneurazine has a two part prograchemistry that operates both internally and externally to SL.) Users are under the “influence” of Virta-Flaneurazine for the next 4-12 hours. After the experience participants are encouraged to log back onto the original clinical studies site and report any experiences encountered during affectation. An online catalogue of these reports will be made available for further study. Plans would also be made to open a physical gallery clinic for walk-in participants, case evaluation, and problems that might arise in some user experiences.