Whenever I look at the following scene from the The Matrix of Morpheus explaining to Neo what the Matrix is, I feel amused because I often pass by the area this scene was filmed at here in Sydney, which is Martin Place and its surrounds.
I’ve been to Martin Place during rush hours, which is right before work in the morning, and in the afternoons when the majority of people get off work. Since there are many offices near there, you’ll see many people in corporate attire, and it can often get very busy during rush hours and sort of look like the way the scene in The Matrix does, but with less people.
Furthermore, there are a couple of designer stores in the area, such as Burberry and Giorgio Armani, and some of the buildings there have a very European feel to it. It’s particularly nice during spring time when the flowers bloom and has less of a cold atmosphere, as depicted in the movie, but whenever I walk around Martin Place now, I can’t help but think of The Matrix. xD
I must admit, I was really surprised when I found out that The Matrix was shot in Sydney. I thought New York City would be the kind of place to film a movie about how everyone is “wired” into the “system”, since life there is very fast-paced, and from a couple of stories that I’ve heard about, New Yorkers rush to work and ignore tourists that ask for directions because they don’t have the time to stop and help – a complete contrast to Tokyo, which is massive and where everyone works even longer hours, but are often ready to help tourists and even accompany them to their destination if they’re lost.
Moreover, the first time I watched The Matrix was in my philosophy class back in high school. The movie was already out when I went to middle school and my dad had the DVD for it back it home, but I never got around to watching it until I had to. The movie reminds me a lot of Plato‘s Allegory of the Cave, and I feel like the ending song of the movie, which is Rage Against the Machine‘s Wake Up fits well too.
Anyhow, I’ve tried catching Pokemon, such as this Clefairy, using the Pokemon GO app., when there were less people at Martin Place. Even so, there was one guy that noticed, came up to me and said, “Pokemon GO!,” and then walked away. It was random, but funny at the same time, because it was a sign that Pokemon GO was the new craze that everyone knew about. The next time I tried catching Pokemon in the city, a person in his car drove by and yelled out, “Pokemon GO!” to me. I was a bit startled at first, because I expect Sydney-siders in the city to be rather calm and keep to themselves and not be yelling out of their cars at a stranger, but because of this app., and the recent craze for it in Australia (we, Aussies, and New Zealanders got the app. before anyone else in the world), it seemed like people were a little too excited. =P
Pokemon GO is a very interesting phenomenon, though. It’s an app. that includes augmented reality that seems to have really kicked-off among smartphone users, which will most likely pave way for future apps. that integrate augmented reality. On the other hand, virtual reality is already in the works and is going to play a large part in our future.
The only concern I have is, like in The Matrix, the lines between reality and the virtual world might begin to blur, making people plugged into a world that doesn’t really exist and that can never materialize – perhaps even making one think… what is real and what is not real?
There has also been news about the Pokemon GO app. collecting all of our personal information, particularly on our where-abouts, and selling it to “third parties”. I think most apps. on our phones have access to our personal information that we give up voluntarily, so my reaction when I heard of such news wasn’t that of surprise. It’s true that our information can be used marketing and advertising purposes, but if you’re the kind of person that isn’t easily swayed by advertisements targeted towards you, then it doesn’t have much effect. The only time you should be worried is if your personal information is used for ulterior purposes that can result in harm. Technology has its price.
Fun fact: A scene from Superman Returns was also filmed at Martin Place, and I hear that Jackie Chan is in Sydney at the moment to film a movie – a Chinese science-fiction thriller called Bleeding Steel. Not exactly thrilled, since Jackie Chan seems to be involved in what I call a stunt with you-know-who, who now has to share profit with two agencies (one being Jackie Chan‘s Sparkle Roll Media), which normally would have been the case without a lawsuit when promoting overseas. Furthermore, you-know-who is still signed under the head agency he had always been part of. =P I hope the Chinese public wakes up soon and realizes that they can’t trust their own entertainment industry, let alone any entertainment industry around the world.