Saturday, June 6, 2009

Attention: The Future has officially arrived.

Seriously, just watch:

Look, OK, I'm a huge fuckin' nerd, and I grew up moving around, reading books, and playing games instead of talking to people, so games are one of my primary metaphors for interacting with the world. This blurs that distinction. The other video (at the top of the linked source article) blurs it even more.

We're one huge step closer to VR.

Content is going to make or break this thing, period. With awesome games, it will destroy the Wii and leave the PS3 a dessiccated husk. That is, if I felt like being figurative. But with terrible games, it's going to be dead on arrival. Personally, I plan on supporting the product regardless, as support for the technology. I think this is awesome: I play games to vicariously do things I lack the time, inclination, or ability to do in real life. I can't go kill alien hordes bent on our extermination in real life. I don't want to steal cars and give in to wanton bloodlust in real life. I can't build an empire in real life and have time to do all the other things I do for fun. I like to be a sampler, a butterfly of sorts, flitting from flower to flower, flirting with all the possible things I could do with my life but not committing myself to any of them. This avoids both the pros and cons of doing that thing in real life, and considering how often I fail at the things I like to do in video games, I think this is probably a good deal for me. The more immersive the interface, the more satisfaction I get out of the experience. So, for me, this is really fucking exciting.

I seriously can't wait to see what's in store.


Zach L said...

Remember when you injured your knee playing Rock Band(or Guitar Hero, I forget)? Imagine that happening ALL THE TIME, TO EVERYONE, FOREVER, THE END.

Seriously though. Natal is a huge breakthrough in technology, definitely, but it's not a good tool for gaming. We use controllers instead of swinging our fists around because swinging our fists around for hours is exhausting. It's great for emotional content -- if employed properly -- and for short bursts of things (like, oh, I don't know, fitness), but the majority of the things you mentioned -- killing aliens, jacking cars, the kind of things that games currently do -- would all become incredibly stupid and tiresome with this system. Hell, think of the already existing complaints of arthritis sufferers and those with carpal tunnel related to the Wiimote, and expand that to everyone with any kind of physical disability.

This is tangential, but I was reading, and in a fictional dialogue for the movie trailer The Gamer, he suggests (humorously, of course) that people play games to vicariously live out desires they can't do, and he uses the fictional "Paraplegic Timmy". Now imagine a Paraplegic. HE CAN'T USE THE SYSTEM. PERIOD. There is no workaround for it. Timmy already has trouble enough with controllers!


D said...

It was Rock Band, 'cuz Craig & Amy were playing, too. But remember, I was drunk and jumping around like a jackass 'cuz I didn't really need to look at the screen (because I play Gimme Shelter all the damn time), so I had multiple factors working against me.

I'll address your concerns tomorrow with how this is way better in completely different ways. I don't care if ham-beasts can't play, because they get to ride around in their meat-wagons all the time. But other than that, you raise good points, to which I can only respond that low-intensity gaming is the future.

As for paraplegic Timmy, he's what this sort of thing is for. He just needs to wait for immersive VR, like people with no hands needed to wait for the i-Limb.