First introduced on 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' in 1987, the holodeck consists of an empty black cube covered in white gridlines upon which a computer can project elaborate simulations by combining holography with magnetic "force fields" and energy-to-matter conversions. The result is an illusory world that can be stopped, started, or turned off at will but that looks and behaves like the actual world and includes parlor fires, drinkable tea, and characters, like Lord Burleigh and his household , who can be touched, conversed with, and even kissed. The Star Trek holodeck is a universal fantasy machine, open to individual programming: a vision of the computer as a kind of storytelling genie in the lamp.

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A quote saved on Feb. 26, 2013.


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