Serious Games Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Simulation Blurring the line between what’s real and what’s not Sama Rind (s3239506)
“ Human beings have longed to "break out" of this reality, to transcend the imposed limitations on their physical being.” - Christopher Grau (The Philosophy of the Matrix)
What Is Virtual Reality? ‘ Virtual reality’ ‘is a technology which allows a user to interact with a computer-simulated environment’; an environment that is immersive, intuitive, reactive and absorbing. The term itself, ‘virtual reality’ (or VR), first truly came into being around the 1980s, where technology was advancing enough to allow for reasonably realistic representations of physical environments.
The Simulated World Being able to interact with something that is not real, to touch and feel what is not there, or to make decisions that do not have a negative impact or bad consequences in the real world is intriguing and appealing to many people. It is a method that allows us to express ourselves, to learn in a safe environment and to experience without consequence, reprimand or judgments – which usually act as restraints in the real world. The virtual world is without these fundamental constraints.
Virtual Reality Today http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2FOLeONyWM 00:00 – 03:36 Serious games have been integrating VR to help create a far deeper, personal and far more educational experience. As VR enables total immersion and visual separation from the physical world, it has been incorporated in numerous fields, such as therapy and rehabilitation; as well as the treating of post traumatic stress disorder. Some exposure therapy patients are fitted with head-mounted displays (HMDs) and are immersed into an environment that could trigger their anxiety attacks, such as a VR of a train carriage for those with a phobia of public transport. On the other hand, VR simulation is utilized to create real environments in the virtual world for proposed land developments, architecture and landscape design. The aviation industry also takes advantage of VR in training, where flight simulation is used to map out real world events and environments. VR has also started to make an appearance in health care education, where virtual surgery is allowing dangerous procedures to take place in a safe environment, without any real patients or potential mishaps.
Augmented Reality http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfV4R4x2SK0 Augmented reality is when real-world objects (or real space) is ‘enhanced’ by virtual elements that can be interacted with in the real world. A good example of this is the ‘Sixth Sense’ gestural interface technology created by Pranav Mistry. This device is able to project on any surface and is fully interactive. One can zoom, draw, take photos, access the internet and other relevant information with total ease using simple gestures.
The Future of Simulation Mychilo S. Cline argues in his book Power, Madness, and Immortality: The Future of Virtual Reality , that VR will become one day become an integral part of daily activity and culture. His prediction may one day come true.
References Internet 1. Wikipedia (Virtual Reality): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_reality#Attractions 2. The Philosophy of the Matrix: http://onwardoverland.com/matrix/philosophy.html 3. Virtual Surgery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2FOLeONyWM 4. SxthSense: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUdDhWfpqxg 5. ‘Earth Room’ – scene from Sunshine : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i93cX42xiZ0