Hardware and Gear

Published on October 19th, 2016 | by gareth

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Will People Find The V.R. Worlds Of Playstation V.R. More Addicting And Enticing Than The Real World?

With the release of the Playstation VR system which has arrived generally favorable reviews I thought it would be interesting to share some of my reflections.  I first experienced the unit at PAX Prime in 2015 and was very impressed with the couple of games I got play.  I again experienced the unit up close at PAX West 2016 and was extremely impressed and even more eager for our unit to arrive.

Upon arrival we anxiously set up the unit and I had a very enjoyable evening playing several of the games that were supported by the unit.  A funny thing happened to me know as I was using it and I wondered if perhaps we could be seeing a new phenomenon in the making.  I remember when” Avatar” came out which was filmed with the new 3-D camera technology instead of the post converted in a lab which sadly many of the so-called 3-D films do which results in a vastly inferior product.

Many viewers had said it was difficult for them to go back to reality after being in that lavish 3-D world of Pandora. After playing a spirited round of Headmaster and removing my headset, I noted jokingly to my wife that it was weird going back to reality after being immersed any 360° virtual world. 

This got me to thinking about Star Trek and the infamous Lieut. Barclay and his holiday addictions.  Say what you want about it, but VR is an early form of the holiday technology that we saw on Star Trek the Next Generation.  It only stands to reason to me that as the technology improves over time so will the experience of V.R. in the game there was a moment that I had to stare at a clipboard that came up to me and by focusing on several key points pages would unfold and turn.  My thought was how long it is going to take until I can grab that object and manipulated in a virtual environment.  We can pretty much do that now with the controllers that are available and as the technology and processing power increase so will the amount of detail in objects.

We’ve heard the sad stories of gamers who passed away or seriously impaired their health due to addictions to various games and not being able to or willing to sleep for extended periods of time lest they be away from the game.  I know someone who had what might be called an addiction to Everquest as while they were able to do other things, it pretty much dominated the bulk of their day and interactions with other people as they were compelled to spend as much time in the gaming world and with their online friends than they were with real-world interactions.

As any serious gamer knows balance is the key but I do have to wonder if we’re not that far away from seeing people who slip away from the pressures of the real world into a virtual world and find it easier to deal with.  I also don’t think we are far away from a new form of chat room which was all the rage in the early 90s with the dawning of in-home Internet access.  I do not think we are too far off from the day when people will interact with virtual avatars in an online setting for gaming and other social interactions.  Obviously there are people who are prone to addictions regardless of whether it is gaming, substance, gambling, or other forms of addiction; I just hope that the so-called watchdogs don’t come after this promising emerging new technology the same way they tried to with various videogame titles that they deemed offensive and inappropriate.  If you think I’m overreacting and missing the boat remember less than a year ago I predicted that 4K gaming would be the battlefront and I was promptly told how idiotic I was in that that technology was still years away is not practical for consoles.  We now have a 4K system from Sony only a few weeks off and one from Microsoft due in 2017.

My point is technology moves very fast once it arrives and V.R. will only become better and more affordable in the coming years.  Let’s hope that people are able to responsibly enjoy this technology so that he can continue to grow and reach the incredible promise that it shows.  I for one of no going to log off and strapped into my Rig before getting back to prepping the next magazine and other real-world responsibilities.


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”.He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show.He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.



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