Weekend Special: What If Your Fingers Could Create A World?

Mar 31, 2012
Originally published on April 13, 2012 6:57 pm

One day — and who knows, maybe I'll live to see this day — I will step into my digitally enhanced SomethingOrOther, open my hand, and whoosh! A magic dial will appear. My fingers will become power tools of exquisite delicacy. They will let me build, let me sculpt, let me paint, let me imagine, let me edit, let me invent like the guy in this quietly beautiful video — and if I can invite my spouse or my friends to come in and play with me, if we can do some of the things you see here, well, why would I ever leave? Oh, I guess I'd have to go to my job, or to eat, but I'm remembering those sailors in The Odyssey who eat lotus leaves and fall into a stupor, trapped by their pleasure. They want to stay forever.

The guy in this video doesn't get forever. He gets one hour, one hour exactly, to build something. Bruce Branit, who made the video, has imagined a tech world so intuitive, so easy to use that he can do outrageously fantastic things in 60 minutes, but trapped by his pleasure, of course, this guy runs out of time. The story, as you'll see, is bittersweet, but if there were a world where you could play like this? Oh my, would I play...

Bruce Branit's company is called Branit FX, or Branit Visual Effects. They do their stuff in Kansas City. The video, made in 2009, is called World Builder.

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