TELEPRESENCE IN POPULAR CULTURE

A study of portrayals of presence

Futurama: I Dated a Robot

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ABOUT THE WORK

MEDIUM:

TV episode 

YEAR:

2001 

WRITER(S):

Matt Groening (creator) Matt Groening (developer) & David X. Cohen (developer) Kristin Gore staff writer Eric Kaplan writer Jeff Westbrook staff writer  

OWN COPY?

No 
 

ABOUT THE STORY

SUMMARY:

from imdb.com Fry ignores the warnings of the Planet Express staff and starts dating a robot with the downloaded personality and holographic image of Lucy Liu. Leela and Bender make a disturbing discovery while trying to save Fry from his short-sighted decision. Written by Jeff Lindstrom 

ERA/YEAR:

Distant future 

CHARACTERISTICS
OF WORLD:

The year 3000 - cars fly, space travel is common, robots are common. 
 
ABOUT THE PRESENCE-EVOKING TECHNOLOGY
NAME:
Robot Lucy Liu 
DESCRIPTION:
A blank robot is placed into a machine, where it downloads and takes on Lucy Liu's physical appearence, including facial and voice expressions. Her personality is composed of Lucy's movie character's weighted by box office receits. People interact with her as if she was human. She generally acts docile, sexy, and submissive, yet smart. However, she is an illegal copy. 
NATURE OF TASK OR ACTIVITY:
Physical intimacy, conversations, fighting other Lucy Liu robots. 
PERFORMANCE OF THE TECHNOLOGY:
works well. 
 
ABOUT THE CREATORS OF THE TECHNOLOGY
DESCRIPTION:
A company called kidnappster, run by geeky Interent nerds, white. They have kidnapped celebrity heads, then sell illegal copies of them online.  
MAJOR GOAL(S):
to make money. 
 
ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO EXPERIENCE PRESENCE
DESCRIPTION:
Phillip Fry: male, 25 years old, white, from the 20th century, very average. 
 
ABOUT THE PRESENCE EXPERIENCE
TYPE(S) OF PRESENCE:
Social presence 
DESCRIPTION:
very pleasurable, physically stimulating, enjoyable. 
USER AWARENESS:
yes. 
VALENCE:
enjoy it. 
SPECIFIC RESPONSES:
physiological arousal, enjoyment, involvement, intense parasocial relationships 
 
ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF PRESENCE
LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES:
Fry's friends save the real Lucy Liu from kidnappster. She convinces Fry to erase his illegal copy of her. Fry is sad and then angry when Lucy reveals her lobev for Bender. 
 
AND FINALLY...
OTHER INFORMATION:
 
CODER NAME:
Amanda Scheiner 
CODER E-MAIL:
amandags@temple.edu 
CODER AFFILIATION:
Temple University 
DATE CODED:
6/28/2007 

 


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