Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Modeling Reality with Virtual Worlds

Virtual worlds seem to be what is going to be new "it" thing when it develops to a completely immersing level. Right now it is all looking at a bright screen at 3 in the morning, clicking frantically at whatever the heck is going on. Maybe a little exaggerated but not THAT far from the truth. One that can be talked about is the game World of Warcraft (WoW for short). When you boil it down it may just be a game but the level of dedication some people put into it definitely makes it qualify as a virtual world. Let me say ahead right now that my opinion towards WoW is heavily biased, I hate that game with a burning passion of a thousand suns. People spend hours upon hours playing the game, all they do is repetitious boring stuff. Spending hours mining for in game currency, hours traveling from one destination to another for a job. Spending hours training your character to be stronger. It never ends. Its life but in a different context. Sure there is social interaction in the game, but if that is what you are looking for, then you should really try going out a bit. There is another Virtual World that is more true to that aspect. That would be Second Life. Some people consider it a game but really it has gone too far to be that. One can do anything there that can be done in real life and then some. It gives you access to do virtually anything you want in the comfort of your computer. You want massive gardens? You got massive gardens. You want to fly? Done. Want to open your own store? You can start planning today. Or as IBM has shown, you can train for your real life job in the virtual world. There is only one MASSIVE problem with the whole virtual world scene. Its not real. What I mean by that is that your brain is fully aware that it is not real. It is lights projected from a screen. At the end of the day, you were just staring at a monitor the entire day. One may feel emotional and psychological things when interacting with the virtual world but nothing physical at all. This is the next big leap the virtual world has to make. Where the only reason you know that it is a virtual world is because you consciously know you got into the machine or plugged in. Other than your prior knowledge of entering, your brain has no CLUE that it is not the real world. If you fly, you feel the wind as you zoom across a field. If you go for a swim, you feel the coldness of the water and that refreshing feeling when you do it on a hot summer day. That you feel another persons hand if you were to touch it. That virtual world is the world i would not mind exploring. I hope that the virtual world becomes like the matrix, only with more ability to manipulate and less dying.

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