About Virtual China

    Virtual China is an exploration of virtual experiences and environments in and about China. The topic is also the primary research area for the Institute for the Future's Asia Focus Program in 2006. IFTF is an independent, nonprofit strategic research group with more than 35 years of forecasting experience based in Palo Alto, CA.
    Lyn Jeffery is a cultural anthropologist and Research Director at the Insitute for the Future, where she leads its Asia Focus Program.
    Jason Li is currently a design research intern at Adaptive Path. He previously worked at IFTF & Microsoft Research Asia, and recently graduated from Brown University.
    Nan Yang is a freelancer in Shanghai whose many projects include part-time Mandarin teacher at MandarinShanghai.com, assistant for Eric Eldred from Creative Commons, translating manager for gOFFICE, translator for MeMedia, member of Social Brain Foundation, and author of 1idea1day.com. She is also passionate to take part in small and innovative seminars in Shanghai.

About Asia Focus

  • In response to the great need for foresight about Asia, IFTF has launched the Asia Focus Program. Asia Focus research topics are large-scale, under-explored areas from which unexpected futures will emerge. It is part of IFTF's flagship program, the Ten-Year Forecast Program, which provides a broad scan of the environment and is a leading source of foresight for a vangard of business, government, and nonprofit organizations.

About the Institute for the Future

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March 04, 2006



maybe its Asians with bleeched hair, you're reading too much into things!


Perhaps. My gut said "white people"* because of the western drawing style, pale skin and orange hair. I don't buy "Asians with bleached hair" though. However, the illustration may follow the abstracted and slightly deracialized coloration schemes commonly found in (Japanese) anime.

Maybe I was too quick to judge, though I'm still not totally sold. What do you think about their clothes/bodies/build?

* I have a strange sense of humor, which is 50% responsible as well.


Actually I don't see the cartoon representative of any race -- does it really matter?

simplyfing clothes /bodies/build will only perpetuate stereotypes.

I don't typically fall under these asian typecasts so it cringes to me when people point out or label people (okay maybe i should learn to take a joke, lol).

Nice site btw, found a link on boingboing.com


Thanks for replying - though I have to be difficult again and say I typically do not believe in deracialized imagery, with stickmen being an exception. Those two people may be Asian (as you suggested), they may be white (as I suggested), but they are not black, South Asian, etc. (their bodies are beige, not colorless).

I admit though, that I'm starting to feel a little silly launching into a mini-tirade from such a small quibble.

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