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Wednesday, December 16, 2015


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pussycat catnap

I think what gets me with FPS games, and this might just be me, is the peripheral vision is gone. I'm one of those rare people with just over 180-degree peripheral vision (as a child I freaked out a doctor by telling him how many dots I saw, and correctly counting the ones he thought were behind me - I probably hit about 190 degrees).

FPS is way zoomed in and then shows that classic 'your arm holding a gun' image that you have above.

Now just stop and look forward, and mentally note what you see... then compare it to that image. Its very different...

And the more different this is (the wider your natural field of vision), the more jarring an FPS game is.

VR might actually improve this, if it gives me "back" my field of view. But it could also be extremely alienating if it over or under guesses the field. If for example I'm viewing the setup through some goggles, then for my vision about half of what I see is the side of the goggles... both on the outside and, if its split between the eyes, the inside. But also the top and bottom...

It would give me the effect of looking at the world through a gas mask... when I experienced when I was in the military as I was stationed within 'chemical attach range' of a Communist country in Asia... but I was able to adjust to it after a bit because the rest of my senses still had access to reality...

I could see this being a 'show stopper' unless they figure out a way to make those "goggles" wrap all the way around your head and allow for a person's normal field of view to be the same in the VR... and that just means now you're not just wearing an octopus on your face, you've buried your head in its mouth...

Flashing Merlin

VR has been around for decades. I was amazed the first time I put on a pair of goggles. I was more amazed that it never caught on. I thought Zuckerberg was nuts to invest $2B in the latest version of a failed technology. I had thought he might eventually make his investment back on FPS games, but this news seems to rule that out.

The Wikipedia article on VR says that Philip Rosedale started out trying to build an immersive rig that people could wear, but then settled on the Second Life flat computer screen approach. It would be ironic if some variation of SL turned out to be the only profitable use for VR, and the flat screen turned out to be the most popular means of viewing it.


agree with pussycat about peripheral vision

is the device breaker this. Or enabler for whoever can get this working for at least 180degs

on a standard screen display we see peripherally with our fingers, not our eyes


We always underestimate our innate biological tendencies.

And one of our biggest biological tendencies is "how can I more efficiently interact with the physical world around me?"

In other words, "how can I do more while exerting less?"

It's burned into our DNA and limbic system after ruthless natural selection based on the fact that the most successful organisms are ones that use energy as thriftily as possible.

This is why elegantly designed handheld controller devices will always win as opposed to the sexy gestural UIs you see in Minority Report.

There's even some terminology for this. See: Gorilla Arm



Thought fist person shooters would be great. Sooo wrong. Its terrible.
Flight sim, Second life and some driving trucks is a lot better for VR.

pussycat catnap

Pathfinder is right on with that comment about the controller beats the gesture wingdigitymajig...

Simplicity wins.

It is also why we ended up with Walter John William's Internet and not William Gibson's Cyberspace.

Cyberspace is "cool", but the internet is practical.

Full immersion won't reduce the number of tasks needed to do one goal, it will increase them - because you have to account for so many more factors coming together 'perfectly'.

On NPR today on my drive home though, I did hear a 2 second blurb that perfectly captured the ideal use of VR. Some student at a New England liberal arts college Frost used to teach at was making a set of goggles to let you explore out a space in front of you, as if the building you had just designed was already sitting there.

- Now take that, and imagine it as Augmented reality that overlays the added info, rather than replacing the real world with it... so I could for example see a wireframe of that building in front of me, or a transparent version, and see it in relation to reality rather than in exclusion of reality.

Complete with a popup ad on a building wall halfway through telling me I avoid hairloss at a random porn site by getting an insurance quote there for dogfood... Or something...

Tim King

Why not have buttons that toggle the view? left, right, etc. Your body could turn with it or not.


Hmmm...for VR to work it might require inventing more games that do not constantly require one to run around and shoot things.

Count me in, if that happens.


The larger FOV will only be adopted by most VR headsets when foveated rendering technology becomes feasible. Foveated rendering allows tracking of the eye focus so that the GPU only has to render a small area around where the user is looking at maximum resolution. Everything else on the screen can be rendered at a much lower resolution as peripheral vision. Without foveated rendering there are too many pixels for an affordable gpu solution to render in a larger FOV VR headset.

Foveated rendering might arrive in most VR headsets by 2017 or 2018 probably. With larger FOV headsets dominating the market by 2019.

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