Saturday, January 25, 2014

Immersive Gaming

I'm going to attempt to make myself seem really ahead of the curve, but I'm really not. About two months ago I was bored in class and thinking of different things, and at the time it wa gaming. In my head I envisioned an augmented reality game, where you could basically live the game. My daydream was pretty elaborate, so the class must have been pretty boring. Anyway, I had a whole idea of running around, having a weapon (I was envisioning mostly CoD), and being in an actual environment where even temperature could be controlled. In reality, something kind of like this exists, and its called the Oculus Rift, although I still have time to develop the temperature/environment aspect.

Oculus Rift was developed in 2012 for immersive gaming. From there it went on to KickStarter. KickStarter raised the company $2.4 million. This included backing from major gaming companies, who gave huge capital for the development of the device. Although they are pretty far away from being as common as a PS4 or Xbox One, they are really improving and developing more. At CES 2014, from what I've read, they introduced a moving aspect, so you can actually walk around in a game, and the speed in the game changes depending on how fast you're moving in real life. This could actually alter the type of person that is classified as a "gamer" if this type of gaming beats out consoles. No more will the best in online lobbies be overweight teenagers drinking energy drinks to make up for their lack of sleep, but could actually be the extremely fit and strong people, and actual soldiers. Branching off from this and away from gaming is another possibility for Oculus Rift. Imagine a med school, with hundreds of young, soon-to-be surgeons. If the students could be immersed in a situation where they were giving surgery, with no repercussions if a mistake was made, only a learning opportunity.

As of right now I have failed to mention the actual hardware. The Oculus rift is basically a huge pair of goggles with a screen on the inside. The idea is that it has sensors built in that makes the game move when your head moves, to make gaming more natural to feel. They also introduced a "gun" made of plastic that you can use with games to give it a more realistic feeling.

The Oculus Rift is, to me, really exciting. That could be because I am ridiculously into new stuff, or because I've always been envious of the super-good in gaming. The advantage with Oculus Rift for me is that I work out all the time, so I would hopefully dominate in a more physical game play. Whatever my motivations are, I believe this could be the future of gaming, something where a parent saying the game is too real to the child might be a more significant concern.

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