VRMMOs: What Will They Be Like?
But even when they are, what are they really going to be like? Will enough people be willing to make the plunge to keep what will probably be the most expensive entertainment venture in history funded? How realistic is too realistic? How will they keep players immersed?
According to most LitRPGs, the standard features of a VRMMO are:
--Full motion control. Your virtual body moves just like your real one.
--Adjustable sliders for the five senses, plus pain and exhaustion (Realism Level).
--Full Sandbox. Players can do anything, including murder all the NPCs and conquer the world.
--Realistic NPC scripting, bordering on or transitioning completely into true AI.
Technology is becoming more and more advanced at an exponential rate. So quickly, in fact, that we could see the initial framework for VRMMOs in a decade or less. Therefore, it behooves us to really think about what we want, how we want it, and how we can make it all work without making brain hacking a thing or creating a death game.
12/4/2016 5:35:00 AMShiftyCake Wrote: [ -> ]VR isn't currently possible because you mind can't separate fantasy from reality. You may know that the VR is not real, but your mind will believe it is and act accordingly.
I can confirm that this is true. Just look at my friend Sarras.
12/5/2016 4:17:21 AMAdvonKoulthar Wrote: [ -> ]Eh, what about dreams? Not the distinguishing part, but you don't exactly die when you die in a dream. That seems specious...
Dreaming is something else entirely. I do not have enough knowledge to give you a full answer. I only know that your mind does struggle to separate reality from fantasy, and that it does have a serious affect on your physical condition. Remember that this is theoretical when it comes to VR. It may not be possible to induce death, as defense mechanisms would probably come into play at that point. Your body's designed for survival after all.
On the other hand, it is a very real possible that you will come to experience problems such as phantom pain, an adversity towards a condition you didn't have before, etc. and that is not good for business.
VR is pretty much their technology-wise. A form of VR was made sometime in the early 1990s, but after people started experiencing problems it was quickly shut down and deemed unsafe. Of course, that version of VR was very crude and was bound to come to problems. But the experience we got from it is that VR is not as simple of a concept as we first thought. More needs to be figured out before we can use it.
I want VR just as much as anyone else. It's my single most favorite futuristic possibility. However, I'm not going to sacrifice my own, or other people's, health because of my desires. Patience is the best thing we can have here.
There are also moments as a person falls asleep where they begin to experience dreams but are still aware of their surroundings. This is when sleep paralysis most commonly occurs. Typically, they will see, hear, or otherwise sense something (a snake in the bed, a swarm of insects crawling out of a hole in the wall) but be unable to react because they aren't really awake.
These would be easy to deal with. The VR platform could use some sort of transition, like a timer as the system slowly powers on or off. It could be disguised as a mini-game that slowly adds different elements as you become more immersed.
A person who literally can't tell the difference at all is experiencing an altered mental state, which could either mean they're depressed, they haven't been getting enough sleep, they're drunk, they're high, or they're suffering from PTSD or a kind of psychosis. It's not strictly normal. Anybody with those issues would probably be warned away from some types of VR, in a similar manner as epileptics are warned not to play certain video games today.
I doubt a VR test from the 90's could be considered scientifically acceptable by today's standards. I knew adults in the 90's who thought Gorillas (a game that came with DOS that my father taught me how to play) was witchcraft. My father, who owned the computer and worked with them every day, thought it was cutting edge technology. The mindset to accept VR was simply not present. Even qualified experts would have found the concept intimidating at best, frightening at worst.
That's no longer the case. VR is now the next logical progression for the entertainment industry. We already have virtual interaction and motion control with the Rift and the Vive, and they're so popular that smartphone manufacturers are making their own VR systems and releasing both games and apps that utilize them.
Also, "If you die in the game, you might die in real life" is hooey. That's a phenomenon called psychosomatic death, which is a contested theory that the scientific community at large does not take seriously but can't quite be disproved. Even if it does happen, it requires either the absolute belief that you are going to die or a stress response so extreme that your heart stops. Neither of those things should happen in a VR environment unless you can't tell it's virtual, in which case you shouldn't be using it anyway (see above).
Other psychosomatic issues are a possibility, but should be easy to deal with before the general public gets involved.
After some research, I believe I was given some misinformation. VR in the 1990s didn't fail because it caused problems for the consumers, it failed because it didn't deliver on what the consumers expected. Virtuality (the company) did a couple of things wrong. The first is that they were marketing the pod itself rather then the games that worked with the pod. So the pod was a lot of flash and not much substance, and people lost interest because the games just didn't keep them entertained. The other thing is that the pod was so vastly different from anything the consumers had done that they just couldn't get used to it. A longer assimilation process was needed to adjust the consumers to the pod, but it wasn't given.
I don't think the current versions of VR have learned from their predecessor though. Rift and Vive are filled (at least as far as I know) with crappy games that don't have much substance, and they're marketing the idea of VR reality itself instead of the games VR provides.\
12/6/2016 2:04:49 AMShiftyCake Wrote: [ -> ]I don't think the current versions of VR have learned from their predecessor though. Rift and Vive are filled (at least as far as I know) with crappy games that don't have much substance, and they're marketing the idea of VR reality itself instead of the games VR provides.
Crappy by the standards of modern AAA titles, yes, but the idea isn't to sell units so much as market the software to developers. That's why the Rift spent so many years in closed testing, only available to private companies and later, YouTubers. The focus is arguably still on testing. Except the smart phone models, who want a gimmick.
The good news is that the generally public has hit the point between stupid and tech savvy where they buy things just because they're expensive and involve phones, so VR gets more money even if the games are crappy.