: Could 3D Gaming Cross The Line?

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Could 3D Gaming Cross The Line?

Mary Shelley wrote "Frankenstein" at the age of 19 and saw the book published - under the name of her husband's friend - in 1818. A far cry from the Hollywood depictions, the novel operated on a number of different levels and addressed everything from feminism to politics to the sociology of development. But above all else, it warned against "crossing the line." It warned against men attempting to play God and go against the natural order. Ironically enough, the day after Shelley died at the age of 53 of a brain tumor, the current Prince of England opened the world's first exhibition dedicated to the scientific and technological advancements men have made.

In looking at the new 3D technology, one almost starts to wonder when (perhaps not if) we will cross the line into virtual reality, and whether or not that will present a slew of physiological and psychological problems we can't foresee. This video, be it real or fake, actually frightened me on some level. There was excitement and a bit of wonder but lurking beneath was a significant thread of apprehension and anxiety. We've all wanted to see gaming advance, and so it has. In an extremely short span of time - relatively speaking - we've gone from Asteroids to Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. ...when you think about it, the advancement is downright insane. And we love to see new steps in the industry, although I admit to being more interested in the artistic jumps; i.e., storyline, character development, dialogue, original music compositions, artistry and choreography, etc.

But is there a line? Can we push it too far? Granted, this question is probably out of place; we're nowhere near the level of technology I refer to, and we know virtual reality is a long ways off. It may not even be possible. That being said, it's always a topic worth discussing, especially in a world that strives for bigger and supposedly "better" technological inventions, often at the expense of true humanity. Personally, I believe we've lost a lot of the traits that made civilization worth experiencing, but I'm aware I'm in the vast minority and most don't believe burying their noses in a cell phone doesn't have any effect on the quality of the arts available in society. I say otherwise, but whatever. 3D gaming, as it is interactive, may have a much more profound impact and effect than 3D movies, and the next step - perhaps sensation and feeling of some kind - legitimately scares the crap out of me.

Most aren't scared. They're elated at the thought. "Imagine that," they'd gleefully suggest. And while a part of me wholeheartedly agrees, I have to wonder...

6/11/2010 Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (43 posts)

Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 9:53:41 PM

Hopefully, I got full support for Sony. They haven't failed me yet. ^_^

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 9:57:44 PM

Funny you mention this, me and my barber always talk about virtual reality gaming and the possible effects it could have on the brain. Though it'd be fun there'd have to be some extensive testing to make sure the player doesn't lose their mind or have the game world leak into the real world.

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 9:59:29 PM

i don't think that 3d is great because i play 3d games on my pc and it's horrible nothing better than normal playing

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 10:03:36 PM

I'm all for VR but bhe first very time I see a blue freak coming out of the wall at me....

... will also be the very first time my landlord also gets to see ectoplasm leaking from hundreds of holes in the wall, right where a 12guage sawed-off pump released all it's shells.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 6/11/2010 10:05:06 PM

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 1:22:36 AM

Good thing you weren't the star of Poltergeist.

Last edited by Kangasfwa on 6/12/2010 1:23:00 AM

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 10:12:40 PM

I think one cannot stop the march toward further advancements in innovative technologies.

If humanity did stop imagining what it would be like to break the next horizon, what it would be like to push the limits of what we believe to be possible, our very survival comes into question ...by not pushing, by not striving for the "better"... we die!

When considering where gaming technologies are moving and where they fit into this equation, I feel strongly that holographic virtual reality entertainment will become a reality... but not for a long while yet.

The main point to be made is... what delivery system is used for a very immersive virtual reality experience?

Considering where 3D is... take the quality of the 3D we saw in the film "Avatar" for example.

If we had hardware that could create game worlds as detailed and lush as "Pandora" we would almost "be there" in a sense. By wearing glasses and being immersed at that level it was already close to something akin to virtual reality, minus your own freedom of movement within that world.

So what is missing is a delivery system and a "head rig" that is light and comfortable enough not to inhibit your gaming playing experience.

Motion and head tracking is already being planned, in a rudimentary sense, with "Move" and "Natal"... however your own POV does not change... the screen you look at stays still. Therefore, when you turn your head to the right your game view does not change... unless of course you use the wand "nub" to change camera direction, tilt and height.

Within the next 10 years a virtual reality headset could be a reality, especially on the PS4, the problem is comfort.

It has been done already, we have seen examples from companies in the past, and of course, examples in documentaries when seeing these system being run and tested in labs. The trick is to design the right type of gear that really works well, is lite and comfortable, and we have the console hardware power to create really immersive worlds... otherwise it will just be another cheap rendition.

I, for one, are very excited by the prospects, but it would need to be done right.

We already see that 3D on the PS3 is an after thought... meaning that Sony may implement it... but we know the hardware was not built from the ground up to actual handle full HD 3D visuals. To muscle this onto the PS3 means having to cut corners, lower resolutions and maybe produce an overall experience that is not completely up to par.

We may be fortunate that Sony, and developers like Guerilla and Naught (Good) Dog, squeeze the umpteenth out of the Cell+RSX brotherhood... and, whilst immersed in their worlds, not notice the lower graphical resolutions and corner cutting that has been done to get it to work; nevertheless... I think the PS4 is exactly the hardware we need to move this genre of immersive entertainment forward, because honestly...

...this time Sony will do it right!



Last edited by Qubex on 6/11/2010 10:16:32 PM

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 10:39:24 PM

Hey Coverton,
Check it out....

We'll all be mech's soon....
New Company to Make Full Body Exoskeleton Game Controller
XIO will debut at E3, offering movement tracking and physical feedback.


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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 10:47:50 PM

I just have to take a moment to smile, biker. I haven't even posted here and you're addressing me with something that highly peaks my interest. I have seen the exosuit that a Japanese company has developed that allows a person to lift and carry tenfold his natural strength. I am very much about the transhuman movement and h+ ideals so these kinds of things always intrigue me. Thanks for sharing.

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 10:19:55 PM

you know, i think about our technological advancements all the time. i personally think that our innovation will never stop. one of theodore roosevelt's board of director's once said, "anything that has been invented or thought of has already been invented." can you imagine the look on that guys face if he were to see our era?

anyways, back to the subject. i honestly can't give a educated opinion because i have never seen through a 3dtv. but basically, what i am trying to implement with all that i have wrote is that we need all of this new innovated technology to be able to advance into something better than 3d, like, i don't know, something crazier than 3d!!!

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 12:02:55 AM

Maybe you got some telekinesis flowing outward over the site that you weren't aware off

Actually, that was for Qubex in response to his post so I don't know why I wound up posting it to you, maybe just a late night brain fart on my part.

But certainly glad you liked it though.
The skel' suit really intrigues me too & I want to see the full body armor thing once they're all done making it.

BTW, I could see myself wearing it while roaring down the highway on my Harley!
But I'd just need to find a few Terminator weapons to go with that whole "King of the Road/Mad Max" Futurama thing I'd have goin' on too.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 6/12/2010 12:06:12 AM

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 10:31:17 PM

Graphically not Asteroids to U2.It should bd Asteroids to Crysis.

Last edited by mehrab2603 on 6/11/2010 10:33:38 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 10:40:53 PM

If you think so.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 3:24:18 AM

As far as console gaming goes I think UC2 definitely set the bar for overall graphics go. I'm aware P.C. graphics are another ballgame but the original comparison is spot on.

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 10:35:53 PM

Add motion sensing with 3d and it'll be almost real.

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 11:12:16 PM

There was a special on the Science channel the other day. It was Morgan Freeman hosting a show discussing religion, but they touched on the idea of the universe being made of pixels just like games are. I know it used to be 18, but they are saying that our technical knowledge in computers is now doubling every 13 months. How long can it really be before we will have things that we can't imagine right now? How long before we feed so much information about ourselves into a computer that it will be able to convince us that it is self aware? It was a good show. I didn't buy a lot of the stuff they were discussing about the god angle, but I'd recommend watching it if anyone is into these ideas.

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 11:25:33 PM

I think that if gaming became too real the psychological repercussions might be similar to that of war veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Other side effects may include extreme nightmares, loss of personality/ability to display emotion, and possible permanent mental scarring. What happens when it become so real and messes with somebody so bad that they are unable to distinguish reality from a game?

I admit this can be a scary proposition but we can safely say we are a ways off from having a gaming experience seam completely real. I know the idea of touch and 3D might be combined but making it a means of controlling the game is certainly a step closer to the possible horrific or amazing future of gaming.

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 11:30:11 PM

Obsessive players and players with addictive personalities already suffer consequences, it's not a huge leap to see that happen in the general population.

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 11:29:18 PM

I think it depends a whole lot on the definition of virtual reality. By most definitions if virtual reality that circulated only 15-20 years ago PlayStation Home qualifies as virtual reality. If you're looking for something kmore akin to the holo-decks of Star Trek, I think you're out of luck until either neural implants and direct neuro-feedback arrive, or full body controllers with tactile feedback are developed. Only with the sensations of moving freely within a virtual space can the kinds of holo-deck virtual reality be achieved.

3D TV is all fin and goof, but the presentation will alter the experience compared to reality because vision will be different.There are a lot of visual cues to do with depth of field and focus that cannot translate to a 3D TV.

In the end I don't think that all that extra stuff to create a facsimile of reality is needed. I've played racing sims an slight simulators since the really early 80's, the first 8-bit home computers managed to create games that caused the player to lean into turns and duck instinctively because immersion was achieved despite primitive graphics and sound. The gameplay was fluid enough to convince the player's brain of the experience.

I don't think that all the extra bells and whistles can replace excellent writing (by the programmer) and a game that creates immersion just by being that good. Beyond that it's all bells, whistles. That, and people trying to create a virtual space so that they can 'enjoy' themselves in a guilt free environment.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 6:14:42 AM

Agree and disagree.

I definitely feel that we have created a virtual world, but we are no where NEAR virtual reality...the idea of actually placing yourself within the game. (Your hands, your movement, "I see what the character sees") And I think we can only dream about the holo-deck or the X-Men's danger room...

But saying that 3D TV wont get all the cues of depth of field...well, we've done pretty damn good with our 2D system, so I think that even with current 3D tech they can do ALOT. Again, nowhere near virtual reality the way I see it.

I kinda agree that all the extra stuff to create a facsimile of reality may not be NEEDED, it sure does make gaming alot more fun. I think that it is more immersive the more realistic and lifelike it is. Everybody on this site used to lift their NES controller 3 feet in the air the first time they played Super Mario Brothers because they thought it might help, but we all grew out of it over time. Maybe we were tricked in the beginning that we somehow had some control, or that we were really driving those 8-bit cars. I guarantee you that I will be more immersed in GT5 than I ever was in Rad Racer.

I agree with the bells and whistles though...I don't want 3D or virtual reality to be a gimmick. Take the Wii (not saying the Wii is a total gimmick...I love mine...but it is kind of a "fad") Anyway, the Wii came out hot because it was new and innovative, and now you could "move" to make your character move, and that was cool...but then they never took it any further. Well that, and I got tired of flinging around on my couch all the time. But it was alot of bells and whistles but never any GREAT games with visuals, and story, and superb direction.

So I'm one of those people that's looking for 3D, or the PSMove, with great production values. And eventually I will be one of those people that's looking for VR - maybe I don't even care what it does to my brain ;)

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 11:40:05 PM

Profound post Ben. Thank you for taking it to a level that you rarely see on a gaming site. I not only appreciate the intelligence but also the questions of wisdom, humanity and just plain common sense. I am so glad that I found this community. One worthy of taking the time to actually interact with.

Humankind has crossed the line long ago. Yet we have not even scratched the surface. We are simply not meant to get to a GOD level. Not in our current form anyway. Our curiosity will enlighten us but will also eventually bring about our demise. Funny cause this topic somehwhat reminds me of the Disney movie WALL-E. Humans becoming so dependent on technology that our bodies evolve into mush. Is this 3D push the beginning of humankinds newest era? CyberAge? VirtualAge? Who knows?

I have so many thoughts and questions inspired by this post that I must now slow down my thought process because this conversation can last forever.

OK! Back to earth. We are at the beginning stages of what will eventually lead to a HOLODECK. Imagine if 3D, MOVE and NATAL techs were intergrated along wth Holographic Projection tech that is also being further developed. This may become a reality sooner than we expect.

Lastly! Controller. Camera. Televison. Sound System. So much equipment at so much expense. An EXTERNAL experience. Meanwhile PS9 has spores entering our brains making the experience INTERNAL. Which would you prefer?

Last edited by FatherSun on 6/11/2010 11:45:35 PM

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Friday, June 11, 2010 @ 11:58:55 PM

Natal is a subset of Move and present PSEye technology. It represents nothing that cannot be done with other technologies that are already here.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 12:57:02 AM

Thanks. I figure if we have this kind of content, we'll attract the people we want.

...sadly, it's not the biggest group of gamers. But we still find a way to keep growing.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 1:32:04 AM

Ben, what's that is frequently said about being an agent of change? It's easier to change from within.

We (our community) simply have to keep growing to effect change on the industry we love. All we need is intelligent readers and commenters and of course we need you, Arnold , John and the others at PSXExtreme to do that voodoo, that you do, so well....!

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 7:20:11 AM

@Highlander. I agree with you completely. Natal being a PSEYE+. I include it just to give the competition the benefit of the doubt. Its just me wondering how far we can really go if everything was not just about money. But the actual advancement of humankind.
But as a PS loyalist I'd love it if SONY one upped MS and enhanced the XMB interface with all the features that NATAL is boasting. I know it can be done.

@Ben. What we lack in quantity we definitely make up for in QUALITY.
Highlander has now made me mentally link you with Screamin' Jay Hawkins..... original artist of the song, I Put a Spell on You. Keep up that VOODOO that YOU DO.

Last edited by FatherSun on 6/12/2010 7:27:29 AM

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 12:21:34 AM

The only thing I fear about the future of VR, is that since MS want's to take over the world.....

In the year 2045 MS is caught making a helmet cam/controller that secretly released millions of microscopic nano-drones into their players brains, thereby giving MS full control over those players.

Oh wait, seeing how they keep buying 5,6,7, & 8 RROD'ed bot boxes, MS already has mind-control over the majority of them now.

And MS will never mind-meld and control me through my 360, cause I made an all-purpose aluminum foil helmet just for such an occasion.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 6/12/2010 12:22:40 AM

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 7:33:08 AM

It's that RED RING I tell ya! Hypnotizing the 360 audience. I quit after my second box. Will not buy another when I know a 3rd will not be a charm.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 8:38:42 PM

MS had some type of control on me, that's for sure.

It took 5 break downs before I got a clue.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 12:31:12 AM

If you poop in a game, you poop for real!

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 1:46:01 AM

Lol man bear pig!



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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 7:35:55 AM

As long as the game dont poop on you! Hey..

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 12:54:00 AM

were still a long way from virtual reality.
ive always dreamed of being able to put sunnies on and they have a inbuilt screen that makes the game your playing look and feel like reality.
we may have 3D, we may have voice recognition, we may have motion controls but were still a long way from virtual reality.

curved screens will be next, i saw a video the other day of a OLED screen sony made that is so thin you can wrap it around a pencil!
imagine having a TV as a wrist band now how cool would that be!?

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 1:28:15 AM

Decades ago, scientists grafted electrodes to the visual cortex of a living cats brain in order to see through the cats eyes (cruel indeed). The experiment was successful. If they were able to decode synaptic information into images back in the era when the floppy drive was king, imagine what can be achieved with today's tech. If they can take it out ill bet they can put it in too. The possibilities are mind bottling. Like my mind is rattling around in a bottle. You cannot be told what the Matrix is...

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 1:44:18 AM

Only people can cross the line you're referring to here, Ben. A person has too choose to lose themselves in the game. A person has to choose to shun the real world in favor of a virtual one. People have already chosen to cross the line--think of "Evercrack" or World of Warcraft. I read about a guy who died after playing WoW for seven days straight.

Personally, I think it could be great fun...


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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 3:16:58 AM

I want the line to be stepped over. 3d has been around in some form since the 50's, I want the next step, not these glasses.

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 4:23:00 AM

Well, I think that a fully realised digital world can not exist, unless it is somehow connected directly into the brain, ala The Matrix. I mean, yeah sure, we may have motion control, 3D, environment control, holographic projections, pin-point directional sound, but how would you interact with the world in a physical sense?

I think that is the only problem with the idea of virtual reality. People don't realise that for sometihng to be real, you need to be able to do more than see and hear it. You need to be able to feel it. That can never be replicated in real space, in real time, unless through direct mental stimulation.

However. I think that through these emergent technologies, we really already have begun to cross the line of what is humanity. What is available now borders on the very lowermost limits of transhumanism, in our cosmetic enhancements: plastic surgery, rhinoplasty, boob jobs, etc. Then there are the biomechanic advancements, such as hearing aids, pacemakers, bionic eyes, and now prosthetic limbs capable of interacting with the neural network of the human body, or close to it. These technologies will continue to advance, and possibly to such an extent that the entire human body becomes a machine.

I've gone off track again. While VR could damage the mind, and indeed, gaming in general is already capable of doing that, as are many other forms of media, biotech and nanotech has the capability of damaging our souls. Taking our humanity by making us something we are not. Anyway, a very thought-provoking article, as always Ben. Thankyou for keeping this site intelligent.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 4:35:13 AM

I'm not afraid, because I have a solid belief that people are who they are. People who would be effected by virtual reality in the way people are discussing would have issues with current games.

People's mental state isn't going to change because of a video game, people are either stable or they're not. It's not a matter of how advanced technology is, it's a matter of peoples psyche.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 6:07:02 AM

Nice article Ben.
The way I see it, we'll always hear a lot of talk over CPU, GPU, disc drives and what not. Those specs will always be challenged (excluding the Wii).
However, what I think the next limiting factor in gaming will be is how "plugged in" we are to the game. We can only put so many buttons on the controller and motion sensing has its limits. The future of gaming lies withing diminishing the difference between the person playing the game and the person in the game. In a sense it would be true "VR training" (MGS). Who knows what the limits of mental trauma this could lead to?

Those are my thoughts/predictions on this subject.

-sf out

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 7:29:51 AM

I think 3-D gaming has crossed the line in another sense - launching a console at $500 - $600 was fairly ridiculous, however, if you really wanted one, you could save up for it. "I will work more hours to buy one" as the Sony guy said. But now we're supposed to buy a $2,000 TV or else we're getting a second-class experience. People have already spent close to a grand on a PS3 and an HDTV, and now we're supposed to read article after article about how fabulous 3-D gaming is, and a whole lot of us just flat out cannot afford it - or think that $2,000 for a TV set is absurd - so our $1,000 investment just wasn't enough to get us the best gaming experience possible.

I think they're crossing the line into alienating their customer base.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 2:55:32 PM

As long as things that happened in the .hack series or TRON don't happen, I think I'll be fine with it. Remember Virtual Boy? Didn't it make people's eyes go bad or put people into seizures or something? Hopefully it doesn't do that, either, lol.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010 @ 4:53:44 PM

I am not sure I understand the negative press the entire 3D movement is recieving. So far, I have see it fall under a few categories.

1 - It's too expensive!
2 - It sucks!
3 - It's a gimmick!

Part of me tends to believe the majority of negativity stems from the individual not being able to afford it. I hear the same type of logic when it comes to people commenting on the size of an HDTV.

We live in a 3D world, do we not? Shouldn't gaming, movies, and all entertainment for that matter follow suit? I think so!

I am somewhat jealous to what technology my grandchildren will have at their disposal if they chose to be a gamer. It should be an amazing experience for them.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010 @ 1:13:40 PM

The world is a pretty messed up place with constant wars, diseases and other atrocities. For this reason, countless people are devoted to making it a better place. Whether that is through politics, or invention, or humanitarianism, they do what they can to make the world better.

If we become able to step into a virtual world that can perfectly cater to our desires, will we lose the will to live in the real world? If we can spend our time living in a perfect virtual world, why should we go back to the imperfect real world? Why should we devote our lives to making the world a better place if we can achieve perfection in virtuality?

I think technology will make us lethargic and unimaginative. In life, if there is a problem, you have to think creatively to solve it. I presume that in a virtual world, to solve problems, you just adjust the settings on your program.

"I don't have enough money for rent this month. I'll just enter a cheat code and get 10,000 dollars."

You can already see glimpses of this happening with people trading their real lives for their virtual ones.

However, there are also people that know how to moderate themselves. They know that there is no substitute for human interaction. These people will still exist in the future, and hopefully they will be able to convince the others to go outside from time to time.

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Monday, June 14, 2010 @ 9:49:00 AM

I may get flamed for this but here goes:
In the same way how Blueray won its war with HD DVD, it all depends on 2 entertainment factors: gaming and..well...porn. I read somewhere that due to both industries (PS3 of course for the former)lead to the demise of the HD DVD format. Now, come 3D into the picture. And i won't even go into further detail on this....

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Monday, June 14, 2010 @ 1:57:15 PM


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