Sunday, 5 September 2010

Katie Highnam's Virtual Reality


When I was a little girl, many moons ago, before the Sims and Age of Empires or Baldur’s gate got me into gaming, I used to read a great many books. My favourite genre of which was sci-fi and one of my favourite authors within this genre was a name that some gamers might recognise: Tom Clancy.

Of all his books, the best, in my opinion, were, or indeed still are, the Net force and the Net force explorer books, an international internet police force with their own real life select special ops group. The thing that most enamoured me to Mr Clancy's books were, the emotionally screwed up main characters, but more importantly the very widespread presence of virtual reality.




By 2010 Tom Clancy claimed that most of our spare time and all the time we browsed the web, would be spent not just sitting at our desks staring at a bright screen but actually immersed in a virtual representation of the web, a representation of our own choosing. 
In his world by now we would all have basic programming skills and would be used to altering our own, and with greater skills, others appearances at work meetings or during gaming.

Obviously this isn't what happened but why?

Given the big 3 gaming companies are all pushing for new markets and trying to make gaming easier and more desirable to non-gamers, what could be easier or more fun than thinking you are fully immersed in a "reality". Only the lack of smell or touch really stopping you from believing it.

What Microsoft has got with the Kinect software IS virtual reality, but yet all the games it is showcasing with this new and exciting thing are, to be honest, pretty crap. Even non-gamers can see that. If Microsoft would just give us the virtual reality headset! Make this "new" (old) technology really take off. We've had it for years, giving it to the mainstream consumers is just going to make everything more exciting and really expand the consumer base of the FIRST big brand to do it.

Games are constantly trying to build an atmosphere to help the players forget about the real world, and gamers are constantly looking for an escape from reality, even for a little while. Virtual reality ticks everyone’s boxes, and I'm still holding out for a future where it's possible.

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