Tuesday, August 2, 2011
When I was ten, I very clearly remember my first brush against "Virtual Reality", at least the VR of the mid-90's. I spent 11 minutes in a fully immersive VR environment much like the one in the picture, and I'd been chasing the experience ever since. Every couple of years I look up the latest in HMDs (Head Mounted Displays) and hope that the immersive experience is coming ever closer.
What's that got to do with guitar hero, you ask? Well, it occurred to me tonight, that whilst we haven't "simulated reality" in terms of a total immersion environment, we have sure started to simulate large parts of it! Guitar Hero is a video game, and the controller is not a "real" guitar, and you are not "really" playing guitar. And yet, I'm hooked on the game largely because I get much of the same enjoyment from playing it that I do from playing a "real" instrument...it strikes the same "experiential" feeling for me. When I'm stressed out or just have stuff to mull over, I'm as likely to hit up GH for a few songs as I am to go and tickle the ivory for a bit...they both give me the same feeling.
It made me realise that while total immersion might still be some way off, we've already come a far way in terms of blurring the line between "real" and .... "really close"!