I had a rather interesting dream last night which lead me to ask the following question this morning: what ever happened to virtual reality???
It’s like five or six years ago, VR was all the hype and everybody fantasized about all of the cool things that could be done with such technology…even a few ideas that were non-sexual…and then the Matrix came along and just scared the living crap out of everybody! Maybe people realized that it was a cool idea as long as you could still leave on your own, but as far as I’m concerned, I think we’ve still got a few more decades before the computers take over and enslave us all, so let’s enjoy it while we can!
Anyways, the dream went as follows – all of these MMORPGs today (Worlds of Warcraft, Star Wars Galaxies, and are people still playing Everquest???) could kick it up a notch and really give their users the experience of a lifetime by allowing them to really become their characters. Enough with trying to push a little, itty-bitty graphics card to new heights, let’s skip it up about three notches and immerse the player in a three dimensional world that they can explore as indepth as they could possibly desire – the beauty of computers allows us to skim over the mundane rocky spots, such as the concept that the average computer geek probably couldn’t traverse across a mountain range or pick-up a broad sword, let alone wield one! Granted, you’d still likely look ridiculous to anyone walking into the room as you appear to be waving an imaginary sword in the air as you battle giants, but hey, you can’t win ’em all…
Of course, take it a step further as more and more “worlds” are constructed virtually and suddenly the potential as more than just a cool game becomes even moreso apparent – hold a last-minute conference to discuss business strategy with offices from around the world, show the kids what hands-on learning is really all about as teachers give their students tours of historical and scientific breaking points in time (hey, it worked on The Simpsons!), or even make your first date a virtual one as you and your new friend tour the Louvre while still 10,000 miles apart (and nowhere near Paris!).
There’s so much potential here, but no, let’s focus our budget on blowing things up instead. 😛