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Jun 18, 2010

Comments

1.

Gamers most certainly do not like it.

People just don't know about it.

2.

OK, so now we have gesture recognition and we have stereoscopic 3D. What comes next?

Richard

3.

What comes next?

was about to say emotion/mood sensing, but apparently it reads facial expressions too.

4.

Kyri>was about to say emotion/mood sensing, but apparently it reads facial expressions too.

OK, so once we have that working, what comes next? Say, 20 years from now?

If we're talking about things that enable us to "INHABIT a digital game space", the Kinect can't be the end point, surely?

Richard

5.

Next? I think of Kirby epic yarn... waaw...

srls, kinnect and PSmove are just new forms os input devices; in this generation, we were presented to the "real world movement" input and it was a success. That success may continue in the next generation or not.

Perphaps, soon we will have a sub-neural controler, that will not require ANY body movement and people will think that's really cool, perphaps not. We shall see it. : )

6.

We are missing a few pieces to the puzzle. Our ability to input movements/emotions etc are then only (I say only in response to Richard's future question this is all cool stuff right now!) injected into a remote device that projects either flat or 3d images from a screen or projector. How to do get to feel the weight of something, to feel the hot and cold of a surface, to pick up on the subtle extra chemical signals in the air etc.
We need a similar breakthrough in output. Either direct matrix style into the back of the neck, or creating the physical manifestations around us.
I am thinking holodeck, but maybe one constructing something physical around us.
Another scary thought though. What if have something adjusting to our personal mental model of the world enough that it can in fact hypnotize us into feeling and sensing the physical elements enough to be totally believable? (That sounded daft to me initially but now I think about it could potentially work?)

7.

OK, so let's say we have a sub-neural controller. People don't have to do anything to control a device except think the right way. They may have to think the wrong way in order not to have their thoughts put into action, though, it depends whether the device can discern the difference between "if I move my pawn to a6, then..." and "move my pawn to a6".

Assuming this is possible, what we effectively have here is a means to treat anything as an extension of our body. I'll just will that shovel to dig that hole, and voila, hole dug. We can with this do anything that the virtual world allows with it - well, anything that doesn't involve actually using our own body, of course, because then the signals would be the same. If I want to run in the virtual world, it's not going to feel like running in the real world unless I actually run in the real world. This device can't, therefore, be the end point, but it's a significant point along the way.

Liekwise, the holodeck. We can do a lot more in it than we can in a screen-based world, but we're still limited by real-world physical concepts such as gravity. I can fly in a game world, but I can't fly in a holodeck. I can shrink to the size of a bee standing next to you in a virtual world, but I can't in a holodeck. A holodeck is also not the end point of what's possible here.

So, give it another few years (take 10, take 100, take 1,000 - you have all the future to extrapolate into) and where would it go?

Richard

8.

I will revise my desire to 'incorporation' in the Gordon Calleja sense.

https://www.digra.org/dl/db/07312.10496.pdf

I inhabit an MMO when I visit my kid's house (all too frequently) in Wizards 101.

The thing I will say about these new-fangled technologies is that I find the interaction much more visceral than standard controller play. With the Wii, for instance, I feel that 'thwack'! When I played hours and hours of City of Heroes projected on my wall, I flew, super-jumped, ran really fast, ass-kicked people, and had lots of cool magical moves that emitted from my fingertips. It felt very different, and definitely made the experience more immersive.

9.

LisaG>definitely made the experience more immersive.

What do you mean by "immersive"?

Richard

10.

I watched the demo video. Pretty amazing stuff. Although Microsoft was a tendency to show off more than they do deliver. I hope it pans out!

11.

Immersive, to me, equals visceral. I feel the simulated activity in body, virtually, really. It's incredible how the human brain will fill in the gaps of these experiences and offer us the sensations that make sense, whether the experience is physical or virtual. And I can tell you that Kinect will deliver. It's an amazing step forward for game design, I believe. Gordon C and I used to talk lots about immersion and such, but the cyborg lit, etc. is not my specialty. I just find it mind-blowing to imagine a whole crop of people who have never experienced controllers in the same way we have. Incredible to think of gamers who never spent hours playing the Coleco football handheld, and were never limited and exhilirated simultaneously by Pong, etc., and yes never developed tendonitis in their thumbs from too much controller play.

I find the freedom for designers so amazing, but it also fundamentally raises the bar. No excuses anymore for mediocre game designs. Hardware isn't a limiting factor anymore. Imagination is. I also find it exciting that players can create their own contexts by defining the physical and digital space the way they want, and creating gestures that make sense to them. Children, for instance, create very different gestures than adults do, partially just because their hand form factor is quite different.

Anyway, not my area of specialty, but interesting stuff. Oh, and I assume you're being rhetorical, Richard, as you usually are? Good challenges for our thinking.

12.

Lisa G>Immersive, to me, equals visceral.

So a rollercoaster is immersive but a book isn't?

>I feel the simulated activity in body, virtually, really.

For you, is immersion the feeling that the virtual would is real about you, or that you are virtual within that world? Or is it the feeling that the real and the virtual are aligned?

For me, it's the latter. That being the case, it's an identity issue: I'm immersed when I and my character are one and the same. From what you're saying, though, it sounds as if you don't ever leave reality, and immersion is the degree to which the virtual is made manifest. Would that be a reasonable characterisation?

>It's incredible how the human brain will fill in the gaps of these experiences and offer us the sensations that make sense, whether the experience is physical or virtual.

But from what you say, "more immersive" means having fewer gaps to fill in. Ultimately, if the senses are presented with a full set of stimuli, that would be the most immersive kind of world. Personally, though, I wouldn't say this was immersive: it's very conducive of immersion, but there's a difference between being presented with a real-seeming world and accepting it as a reality. It's the acceptance that makes it immersion, not the persuasiveness of the environment.

>I find the freedom for designers so amazing, but it also fundamentally raises the bar. No excuses anymore for mediocre game designs.

Sadly, while games are expensive to make, there will always be excuses for mediocre game designs.

>Hardware isn't a limiting factor anymore. Imagination is.

Imagination was never the limiting factor, it was always cost.

>I assume you're being rhetorical, Richard, as you usually are?

Well yes - although I did genuinely want to know what you meant by "immersion". You seem to be using the meaning that psychologists tend to use, ie. at the sensory level, rather than the meaning that gamers use, ie. at the imagination level. I could be wrong there, of course!

Richard

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