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In a world comprised of corporate-sponsored moments, where the constant claims and promises of advertisers agitate our expectations to levels that can never be fulfilled, it seems that we may now prefer hype to actual content. After all, hype doesn't disappoint. Its pace is too fast, its duration too brief. The actual book or movie might bore you, but a blurb or trailer generally leave you wanting more. At the moment, the Web is a medium dominated by blurbs and trailers; in this respect, Showgirls feels right at home.

But perhaps what ultimately gives Showgirls rights to the best seat in the Web's metaphorical livingroom is the potential it represents in regard to the seemingly paradoxical pastime of interactive voyeurism. Consider this sentiment, taken directly from the advance publicity materials for the movie version of Showgirls:

The concept of a naked woman dancing privately for one man alone in a room captured the film makers' imaginations...

If this "concept" was truly the inspiration for Showgirls, it's hard to understand why the film makers didn't forsake celluloid altogether for the more appropriate world of joysticks and CU-SeeMe. It's probably just because these astute carnal provacateurs realized they were simply too far ahead of the times to fully capitalize on their vision--the technology it will take to deliver virtual Vegas ass into the laps of amateur Verhoevens everywhere is still a ways off...

In the meantime, the Showgirls Web site does give you an opportunity to "talk" with the movie's stars. Admittedly, this is a compelling feature. You keep wondering: are the series of non-answers, parrot-style echoes, and unwittingly apt nonsequiturs you get in reply to your queries evidence of the talk application's poor design, or are they the amazingly on-the-mark responses of vapid characters siphoned from the parched imaginations of Hollywood hacks?

The mystery of it all will keep you engrossed for at least ten minutes.

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