I was reading about Mariska Hargitay (am I the only one who didn’t know she’s the daughter of Jayne Mansfield?) in her nail-biting performance in the season premier of Law and Order SVU, in which she is a victim of rape. “When you’re acting,” she said on the Today Show [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoWVoe-Q4Mo[/youtube], “your body doesn’t know the difference [between] acting or being in reality, and that’s what presented the challenge.”
I was struck by Hargitay’s admission. To think that telepresence, virtual reality, and the like, are part of our daily lives already evokes a pressing question. Will these technologies, like a professional actor, blur the lines between the virtual and the real, morphing us all into actors in the plays that are our lives? Are television, and entertainment in general, not training us to do just that?