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