Here's another criticism on creepy treehouses.
Are Institutional Portals and VLEs Really “Creepy Treehouses”? @ UK Web Focus
I particularly found the following quotation from a commenter (Phil Wilson) insightful concerning what makes treehouses creepy:
"The creepy treehouse (which has been around for years and years, and started with video games I think) is, classically, about an inauthentic experience of some kind created by adults, designed for children and which normally singularly fails to achieve what it set out to - that is to provide an experience the children are already used to and enjoy (and to therefore become popular). It’s the uncanny valley of using software - you know *something* is wrong, but you can’t put your finger on it."
Uncanny valley is a metaphor within a metaphor, usually used concerning animation, where animated characters that become too realistic are deemed creepy by viewers, as particularly happened with the Polar Express. See http://www.wwnorton.com/college/film/movies2/ch/04/essay_uncanny_valley.aspx for more.
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