Tuesday, 8 September 2015

What is Virtual Reality and what should it be? (Essay)

What is Virtual Reality and what should it be?
Virtual reality is a fully immersive computer simulated environment that gives the user the feeling of being in that environment, instead on the one they are actually in.
A lot of video games have already developed the technology to put the user in the interactive world; in the driver’s seat of a car or on the battlefield in a first person shooter (fps). However your perception of reality is not altered. You are simply a spectator overseeing the events happening in that environment.
In order for your brain to perceive a virtual environment there are a few key factors that are crucial for the creation of an immersive experience necessary for virtual reality.
While there are a few other methods of display, one of the most popular ways to experience virtual reality is through a headset. These devices use stereoscopic display to make what you’re viewing seem 3-dimensional and to give realistic depth to the image you’re looking at. Basically exactly the same as how our eyes see anyway.
However, stereoscopic displays alone does not make for an immersive experience. The ability to track a user’s motion – particularly the movements of both their head and eyes – allows the image displayed in the headset to actually change with your perspective. If you were to be wearing one of these headsets and you turned your head to the left, the display will render whatever is to your left in that environment.
Besides vision certain virtual reality experiences will also include other sensory stimulation like sound and possible even tactile feedback for touch.
Lastly, in order to truly alter the perception of our reality there has to be a certain level of virtual interactivity.
True interactivity should allow a certain degree of user-controlled navigation. So you should be able to walk forwards, backwards or turn through space in the virtual environment so to avoid the feeling of watching an elaborate 3dimentional movie.
When we are able to freely move around in these environments and even interact with things in it our brains can truly perceive that world is real and thus VIRTUAL REALTIY.
Virtual reality has a lot of practical uses outside of just awesome video games and has been used for many training simulations across many fields. Most commonly for soldiers, pilots and doctors.
Virtual reality has seen somewhat of a resurrection lately thanks to exceedingly improved technology and hardware.
Devices like the Oculus Rift have advanced the virtual reality experience by including superior graphics, improved latency and a wider range of motion. Reduced costs of components are also allowing virtual reality devices to become a lot more affordable for consumers.
The only feature in current virtual reality technology that is missing is taste. But taste can be a strange sense to handle given that not only that your mouth is a lot more sensitive to things in comparison to your hands, but also because the sensation of having food in your mouth or running down your throat is INTERNAL.
Usually when people refer to tactile feedback in regards to virtual reality experiences, they are mainly referring to the way something feels by hand, not necessarily the feeling something gives you. 
However, due to how rapidly virtual reality experiences are advancing I believe that it is only a matter of time before our current day-to-day reality is replaced with some lazy technological representation of whatever we program it to be. This could cause for serious issues with growing generations.In VICE magazine’s documentary about the “Korean Gaming Generation” there is a lot of content about how “addicted” these children are to playing video games. 
It is reported that 80% of the population below the age of 25 are in PC bombs (better known as PC cafes) every day of the week, and these are just common computer games. Can you imagine what would happen if people could escape their current reality by putting on a headset and lounging out for a couple hours?
It could turn everyone into socially inept simpletons whose way of connecting with friends is logging on to some advanced version of virtual reality HabboHotel.

Another key point against virtual reality progressing to such a stage is that literally everything around you would fall to pieces. Almost every major company would lose catastrophic amounts of money, thus initiating something like The Great Depression. Seems a little drastic, however it’s not improbable.
So in summation, yes virtual reality technology can be an incredibly powerful tool to aid in both professional and recreational activities, but it also has its flaws (with potential links to the hindrance of physical health). It should be obviously well-built to decrease the possibilities of physically damaging eye-sight but also should be monitored and restricted to some form of guidelines to stop people losing touch with reality to this new and awe-inspiring technology.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Weekly Reading Discussions (Week 10)

Virtual Reality Gaming

Virtual reality gaming is a scary concept but incredible in practice Seeming a little bit strange as the having the entire world around you seem so real while you're wearing this specific headset may cause people to detach from reality However for the hard-core gamers this is going to be able to give them the exact experience that they have always wanted. Not only can this exact technology be used for gaming but it can also be used at a military level and an educational level for a younger generations to come.

Weekly Reading Discussion (Week 8)

Video Game Addiction

Psychological addictions to video-games is an epidemic recognise worldwide. There are many cases of younger generations sitting at the computer all day only playing video games and not being productive with the rest of their life. An example of this is, in Korea, children basing their lives around the game called league of legends. They spend countless hours around the game, so many hours that they actually had to open a rehabilitation clinic for video game addicts.

Weekly Reading Discussion (Week 7)

Violence in Videogames 

Violence in video games has become a growing concern within families and households throughout the world.
games such as call of duty and grand theft auto have caused a lot of controversy due to the aggressive nature of play style of the game leading kids to believe that shooting guns and hurting people is unacceptable thing to do in societyThere is even one case of a child saying grand theft auto drove him to shoot someone

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Weekly Reading Discussion (Week 6)

Weekly Reading Discussion (Week 5)

Verisimilitude vs Stylized Graphics 

There shouldn't really be any comparison between these two styles. Both are incredible in their own rights and show exceptional amount of talent to make them look as beautiful as they do.
Verisimilitude refers to something being realistic or as close to real they [developers] make it, whereas stylized refers to graphics being purposefully not realistic.
The obvious "head to head" in my eyes would be any of the recent Call of Duty titles vs Boarderlands. Both are an first person shooter with fast paced game play but the realistic graphics from Call of Duty set it apart from the semi cartoony look of Boarderlands.

Boarderlands plays more into a fictional scenario where you're shooting monsters and upgrading your gear and all that good stuff but the cartoony element make the fact that it is intended to be sci-fi more prominent.
When looking at C.O.D, the highly realistic graphics cause the player to feel a sense of immersion.  

Weekly Reading Discussion (Week 4)

Ludonarrative Dissonance 

Ludonarrative dissonance is essentially a fancy word for when the story-line and gameplay show no correlation. The only game that springs to mind in reference to this is Bioshock Infinite. The gameplay itself and 'missions' were often way too violent for what was expected from the cutscenes and story-line, it just didn't make sense. 
The cutscenes were peaceful and lovely, yet the gameplay was morbid and almost a bit TOO full-on.