In a generation of technology where we are swiftly approaching the ability to render photo-real graphics in real-time simulations, there is an important question to ask:
At what level of immersion do violent games actually start becoming a problem?
I'm not one to rave about violent video games and their effect on young innocent minds. Like many others I believe there is a tangible difference between yourself and a fictional persona that keeps moral boundaries intact.
What about when this isn't the case? What if in 50, 100 or 200 years you can plug yourself into a game via the spinal cord (ala Matrix) and exist in a world that feels as realistic as your own? Will it be ok to give anyone the ability to go into that world and play a GTA style game, for example?
This feels almost like an inevitability. Technology to control very basic virtual actions with your mind already exists, as does the ability to project images directly onto the retina. Once you can get a spinal jack in there to pump fake physical sensations directly into the brain, we are pretty much done.
Will it end with massive censorship of games? Will there be restrictions on the use of this technology? How will they be enforced?
The sensible part of me sees this technology having limits on use from the start: Being locked to only government developed educational/recreational programs, and only for a certain amount of time. It will be entirely family friendly, a great educational tool, though sadly probably developed by Microsoft.
The sci-fi geek in me imagines a dark and miserable future with a massive online black market for twisted adult games. A withered and frail generation that doesn't leave it's cell like rooms for days at a time. The population split by those who are heavily absorbed into the system, and those who tried to maintain a normal life while society is falling down around them.
What do you think?
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