To those people not really into video games, I want to introduce you do a possible leap forward in video game technology, namely the oculus rift:
This little bit of technology is trying to pull off something that we've been trying to do since the video game was invented, namely bring about virtual reality. Within this little bit of technology we will be able to create a reality that is best formed for us, making far more immersive and compelling video games, perhaps a gaming tool for the next generation and various other new ideas. However, when dealing with the worlds, I have a simple question that may seem a bit silly. Since, we may be actually able to visit these worlds, are they technically real?
People looking at Baudrillard (if you haven't read him, pick up The Precision of Simulacra) will noticed that these virtual worlds will stay the same as any map or place that is mirroring the real (ie 2nd), and technically they would be right. It is a virtual copy of the real, it may become so real that it may somewhat surpass the real, but we still see our games as a fake because it is on a screen, there is distance between gamer and world that actually create that difference. However, what would happen if we removed that limitation and made it possible to go to these worlds. Formally, it still would be second stage but the body and mind may perceive it as real, simply because we are living it. There is no separation between the player and the world. The player themselves are doing the actions and walking through the world as if it were real and for all intents and purposes, it is. If done right, the rift may be getting us into the third stage, and allowing us to mistake the real for the copy , and thus allows us to think about what makes a location real anyway. Which is a question brought up in the video below:
The other interesting quandry is the idea of making fantasy worlds real in the sense of experience. Is it possible to actually make a fantasy world real in the sense that we are all experiencing it. The world was never real and thus could never be a copy, but we are able to go into the world and mistake it for reality. Is it then real, or is it merely a copy of a fake, or worse nothing? Is reality merely the idea of putting things into boxes and stating that, just because it's in a computer screen makes it false. I know that the reality of the world isn't tangible, but is making a world where the player can interact with the world and make it reality, not reality, or is it merely a delusional person mistaking the false of the false for real.
I bring this up, because there are two anime series that take this lesson to the extreme in terms of pondering the nature of real and in my next post, I will discuss how and why these series take the virtual world that they are stranded in and make it real and how the reality itself is nothing more than limitations
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