"I realized that I was and am the center, the focus of attention by millions and millions of people. My family and everyone I knew were and are actors in a script, a charade whose entire purpose is to make me the focus of the world's attention." No, it's not a new blog post by Wired cover girl Julia Allison. It's a quote from a medical patient with the newly defined Truman Show Delusion. What drives someone to believe they're the star of a reality-TV show?
"The wish for fame" is central to the disorder, says Dr. Ian Gold, who, along with his brother Joel, are turning their study of five Truman Show sufferers into the first paper on the subject. Fame-seeking, they say, "is a form of grandiosity, and the fear of threats such as surveillance can bring about paranoia," but in 2008? The idea that everywhere you go, a camera isn't far behind doesn't just make you a little bit crazy: Between San Francisco's Flickrazzi and CCTV, you might also be right. And that explains, in part, the rise of lifecasters like iJustine. If you're going to end up on camera anyway, why not make sure it's your own? Silicon Valley has always been in the business of monetizing fantasy. (Photo of lifecaster iJustine by Miss Karen)