I already shared the most popular posts from 2015 last week, let's start 2016 with my own personal favorites which appeared on New World Notes-- including several not written by me:
Seeking to Uncover Grand Theft Auto V's Mysteries, Players Discover Virtual Memorial to a Second Life Pioneer
A few months ago I told you about Chris Edwards, the 3D artist who pioneered Second Life prim-based creativity, but tragically just died before turning 45. (But not before meeting the woman of his dreams, another 3D artist he met in SL.) There's now a touching coda to that, and it's the story of multiple virtual worlds and how they remember the people who mattered to them after they're gone. And it goes something like this...
Comedian Who Got His Start Performing Live in Second Life from Pakistan Gets His Own Show on the BBC
That's right: A man who got his start performing comedy as an avatar chimp in a futuristic hellscape in the metaverse now has his own radio show on the world's largest and most prestigious radio network. And yes, Sami credits his performances in Second Life as helping kickstart his comedy career...
So if you run with the videophone analogy, these stumbling blocks suggest a similar future for VR: Widely available, but for most people, only used on special occasions. Which would still mean virtual reality is an important technology, but like videophones, not exactly a thing that fundamentally changes all of our lives.
"By the end of it all, the regular world was so... Regular. Even with the currently limited resolution and somewhat heavy device, you can immediately see how powerful this medium is going to become... it already works its magic on the brain pretty damn well."
Game Design Pioneer Warren Spector on the Cultural Roadblocks to Virtual Reality That Few Are Talking About
"The challenges I don't hear being addressed at all (or without appropriate seriousness) are cultural and social. Problems abound, but the big one I see are the isolating effect of simply wearing a headset. I believe most people will be genuinely frightened of and disoriented by being effectively blind to the outside world for the sake of entertainment. When you can put in a headset at E3 and not know if someone's watching you there's a problem..."
Five more beyond the break!