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Immersive tech

Monday, July 30th, 2007

More blogging catch-up:

Another O’Reilly Radar article, this time on a topic near and dear to many Americans: maintaining a young appearance.  Brady draws the point that games are great for training, but doesn’t dig very deeply.  This is a point that I feel is important and should be restated, but is hardly new.  However, the really interesting point that the article seems to highlight to me is this:

Tying a digital game to the physical world is still novel. As sensors become cheaper and more accurate I think it’s one of the things that we will see more often in games.

…and honestly, this link back to the physical world is something I’ve dreamed about ever since I read things like Gibson’s Neuromancer or Stephenson’s Snow Crash.  The idea that a game (or any computer interface, really) can rely on different types of inputs beyond button mashing is… thrilling.  Anything that relies on how I (meaning not my game avatar) am physically moving or (someday, maybe) thinking is ultimately going to be more immersive (and so probably more entertaining).

It’s a trend that’s been taking hold recently; the Wii and its wonderful controllers are probably the most notable (and successful) example of this.  Sure, there will probably be plenty of failed “me too” competitors along the way, but we really are going to see a lot more immersive technologies for games and for general computing.  We’re finally at a stage where it is economically feasible to put such sensors into consumer-level toys, games, and tech.  It just gets more fun from here.

I’ll muse on why I think this is fun, and more than just a gimmick next week…

-sean