Timothy McVeigh and the Big 3D Opportunity
 Join the Discussion
"Activeworlds offers free training.."
 Related Resources
• VR Research
• 3D Graphics General Info
• Multi-User

 From Other Guides
• Graphics Software
• Animation

Dateline: May 9, 2001

On May 16, 2001 Timothy McVeigh the convicted bomber of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City will be executed. (FLASH! update: due to the incredibaly competent work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation the execution has been postponed at least one month!...can you stand the excitement.) Is this an opportunity to promote 3D or what! There has been a great deal of public debate on the merits and morality of broadcasting the execution. Attorney General Ashcroft has ruled that family of the victims will be allowed to watch a closed circuit broadcast of the execution. In addition there will be the ten or so actual live (so to speak) witnesses. If we in America insist on continuing the practice of capital punishment why not broadcast it and let everyone watch. Imagine the possibilities for execution parties and other festive activities timed perfectly with the execution. But let's get serious for the potential for commerce. Yes of course I'm talking about product placements and the use of virtual signage.

First let's look at product placement. The Federal government (remember this is a federal execution) can offer sponsorships of the execution. I would expect a profit split with the state of Oklahoma because they are of course providing the skilled labor. Advertising opportunities via product placement are clearly an opportunity not to be missed. We have the execution room, the body and the equipment all ready canvases for artistic advertisers. The sheet placed on top of the body is prime for a logo. The bottles of poison can each offer different pharmaceutical tag lines. Finally the toe tag, after death is pronounced, offers the enthusiastic sponsor an obvious area for the fashion industry.

Product placement can of course only go so far. We live in the age of virtual reality with virtual signs structures and bodies. Let's enhance the execution itself with virtual signage much like Monday Night Football is enhanced with those yellow virtual first down lines that magically appear on the field. At the time of execution what happens for a lethal injection is pretty much invisible. We need to enhance the execution experience for the viewing public, and virtual additions would clearly be the tasteful and profitable way to go. Machines pump the poison into McVeigh's body but we can't really see all that much. With a virtual poison overlay we can literally watch the poison enter body. It could be colored green or some other tastefully deadly color. Next the viewer can get into the whole process by traveling down the path of the poison by following the injection down through a virtual McVeigh. Sponsors can overlay their logos and ad jingles right in with the poison liquid. We could travel inside the bottle through the tubes and into McVeigh's arm.

Given the expanding array of 3D on the Web potential we can look forward to customized 3D browser plug-ins. I would expect to see new user interface controls to let the viewer customize the execution experience by dialing in changes to the execution methods. One evening users might be more inclined to view a death by electric chair rather then the ho hum lethal injection. Given that different states have different execution methods this might be controlled simply by location. While one particular prisoner may in fact be executed by lethal injection, and viewers want to see the execution by another method, say hanging, the virtual execution can be easily simulated by imposing the actual prisoner's face with a high degree of realism. A truth in advertising notification that the actual method of execution was different than that selected should alleviate any concerns about the reality of the experience. Customized Web experiences are a well known and accepted method used to enhance both the end users interaction and advertisers products.

Isn't technology great! We can also be sure of one thing, there won't be any shortage of opportunities to test these new techniques.
Sandy Signature

[Tutorials] [Web3D Technology Comparison] [3D Resources]
[Virtual Reality] [Art] [People of Web3D]
[Web3D Glossary] [FAQs] [Companies]