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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

MMO...The Final Frontier

Posted by garrett Monday February 1 2010 at 2:10PM
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Welcome to launch week everyone.

Global Agenda goes live today! Get in there and start shooting.

and if you have been under an MMO-rock for the past month Star Trek Online goes live tomorrow.

The STO head start is already alive and kicking.

Many developers say that eventually all games will become MMOs. Or at least all games will be online. That future is very close to a reality with consoles and PCs providing the online environments for players to meet up and play together all the time. This brings up my questions about ... the final gaming frontier, what is it? 

Star Trek's holodeck is the ideal example of where gaming could take us in the future. Being that STO launches this week I thought the idea fit the daily news.

So here is my question to all of you...which Futuristic Gaming Set-Up would you rather have? 

1. The Star Trek Holodeck, where situations are around all around you, but you are essentially limited by your own abilities. In other words, no super powers, no spells or magic blasting from your hands, just you in a virtual environment that borders on VERY real. So this is option A...hmmm....what about the blue pill....

2. Jack your brain into a system and lay there on a table. The Matrix gave us that image and movies like AVATAR and Surrogates took it to a new level. So you go home from work...or whatever we'll be doing in 20 years. Lay down on your couch and plug your brain into a network and wooosh. Your brain does all the work. Here you can have super powers, fly, cast spells, but still wake up the next morning as a total vegetable. Yes vegetable, back when they said, TV melts your brain...they had no idea what was coming.

So what will it be? Putting yourself in an alternate reality, or alternating your own reality? This is a tough choice for me. On one hand I would love to see how it would feel to be in a holodeck situation fighting in a simulated battle. How long could I survive in a certain program based on my wits and skills? It might be fun to push yourself in these environments.

On the other hand who would not want to lay down for a "nap" and jump into a world where you can play a bad ass mage and fry people with the blink of your brain. The super powers would be endless. Sadly you would wake up to a very boring reality once you have experienced that situation.

So what do we do? What is the limit? I can say this with some level of certainty, game companies and hardware companies will be trying to sell both of these ideas to us at some point in the distant future.

Until then, I will settle for a normal log in screen.


NoobTech writes:

i think i would go for holography, because i would have both a physical and mental experience, rather than just a mental experience i would get from plugging my brain into a computer.


also you can't have a normal log in screen, you must take a number and queue up like the rest of us ;)

Mon Feb 01 2010 2:58PM Report
Senadina writes:

I vote for the "Surrogates" route. There is no limit to what you can do or who you can be. That is the ultimate fantasy imo. And even if it was just in your head it would FEEL totally real. Bring it on.

Mon Feb 01 2010 8:42PM Report
Inktomi writes:

 Don't forget getting 'jacked in' from Neuromancer that's due out in theatres in 2011! Cyberpunk has always played with the issue of inserting your mental 'being' into a machine and left your body dormant while your mind went on an adventure.

Good stuf!

Mon Feb 01 2010 9:51PM Report
Xondar123 writes:

It seems odd to me that the folks here at MMORPG .com are working STO into their blogs as much as possible. Launch day excitement? Or Cryptic viral marketing?

For the record, I've been reading a lot of Adbusters and have become pretty paranoid when it comes to the great lengths corporations will go though to advertise their products.

Personally, I'd want a Star Trek holodeck to alter the reality around me rather than jacking my brain into an altered reality. If your brain is experiencing an altered reality, how do you know where the altered reality ends and real reality begins? After all, all our brains are are computers that take stimulus from the outside word sensed through out senses and builds an elaborate computer model of that world. If my senses are bypassed and my brain's computer model is altered by a complete unreality, then what hope do I have to be able to tell fact from fiction?

It's the same question with this website, or any marketing or advertising for that matter. How much are corporations altering my world just to get me to buy their product? How complacent or even complicit are those who build the "mini-world" of this website in that effort? That's why I must stay cynical and doubt everything around me. My computer is real because I can sense it with my five senses. The Second World War was real because there is enough historical evidence to support it's existence. Polar bears drinking Coke are not real. An article praising a poorly made MMO may not be real no matter how hard the author, and/or his backers, want it to be real.

Tue Feb 02 2010 12:02AM Report
mulcebar writes:

I'd want a holodeck if it was actually a possibility, having to really interact would be great for the health. hell all us geeks would end up getting buff, it would become a sprty passtime. but I think the Matrix plug yourself into an alternate reality is a more likely future. and If it happens I hate to think what would happen to those of us who find it hard to find a balance between real life and our gaming life. Jeez if you could escape reality and become anything you want, think how many people would just wither away and die in thier VR suits.

Tue Feb 02 2010 2:51AM Report
Fuerchtegott writes:

what mulcebar said. One gets physical exercise and entertainment. However, at one point the two would merge. You would not have to go dormant to experience the 2. option. Instead you'd be in the Holodeck with additional game gear, like gloves or caps etc. which would give you certain abilities. E.g. the gloves process your hand motions into information that the holodeck computer turns into spell effects.

Tue Feb 02 2010 4:03AM Report
Nesrie writes:

The Holodeck. There is just something appealing about "it" not being real but your interaction with "it" is real enough.

Tue Feb 02 2010 5:51AM Report
Skuz writes:

I think in terms of mass appeal & marketability that the holodeck approach is a far closer reality than jacking in to a computer generated virtual universe, the holodeck has a lot lower threshold for mental health issues & exacerbating an already worrying trend towards obesity.

We've alread had VR headsets but they had a serious problem, in that the eyes can be fooled but the inner ear could not be, this may also prove to be the undoing of holodecks, how do you simulate running across a barren wasteland without bumping into your walls, or your inner ear knowing you are running in circles?

I think it will technically require the "jacking in" to fully convince of a alternate reality. But that may prove to be a huge psychological minefield with some really bad side effects with far reaching mental & physical health consequences, for example unless the vr world accurately & sophiticatedly replicates human emotional facial alterations & responses would much time in these reduce ones capacity to recognise them?


Tue Feb 02 2010 7:17AM Report
sacredfool writes:

For casual gaming, the holodeck is the future of the currently existing Wii/Natal projects.

For more serious gaming it has to be the "Matrix" artificial reality. It will replace the soon-to-be Emotiv systems (and what currently are games on  PCs and X360/PS3 consoles). 

There is no big deal in that. The thing is, most gamers are lazy being which prefer to sit on their ass rather then jump around like a rabbit on crack.


Tue Feb 02 2010 1:01PM Report writes:
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