SEOUL, South Korea — In a vast studio outside Seoul, technicians huddled in front of monitors, watching cartoon K-pop singers — at least one of whom had a tail — dance in front of a psychedelic backdrop. A woman with fairy wings fluttered by.
Everyone on screen was real, sort of. The singers had human counterparts in the studio, isolated in cubicles, with headsets on their faces and joysticks in both hands. Immersed in a virtual world, they were competing to become part of (hopefully) the next big Korean girl band.