Gaming as a hobby evokes images of lethargic teenagers huddled over their controllers, submerged in their couch surrounded by candy bar wrappers. This image should soon hit the reset button since a more exciting version of gaming is coming. It’s called neurogaming, and it’s riding on the heels of some exponential technologies that are converging on each other. Many of these were on display recently in San Francisco at the NeuroGaming Conference and Expo; a first-of-its-kind conference whose existence alone signals an inflection point in the industry.
Experience Media Studios’ 3DPOV® system enables the capture of a three-dimensional visual and auditory experience from the first-person perspective. 3DPOV® media delivers a higher level of sensory engagement than virtual reality that replicates a true-to-life binocular and peripheral visual field and a stereophonic auditory experience.
Cliff Bleszinski, Chris Roberts, Paul Bettner, and Palmer Luckey share their vision for the future of gaming
The SXSW Gaming Expo is preposterously loud. At one side of the room, aStarcraft tournament is reaching its climax, but on the other side, one group of guys is yelling louder. They sound like a basement full of adolescents discussing the newest Electronic Gaming Monthly cover story, or like the NINTENDO SIXTY-FOUR kid unwrapping his Christmas present.
“Is the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality 3D headset, the future of gaming?” they ask. “Or, is it something bigger — the future of life on planet Earth?”
As game-based learning gains momentum in education circles, teachers increasingly want substantive proof that games are helpful for learning. The game-makers at the non-profit GlassLab are hoping to do this with the popular video game SimCity.
GlassLab is working with commercial game companies, assessment experts, and those versed in digital classrooms to build SimCityEDU, a downloadable game designed for sixth graders. Scheduled to be be released in the fall of 2013, it builds on SimCity’s city management theme, but provides specific challenges to players in the subject of STEM.
Most games are designed with a computer screen or television in mind – but what happens when the screen is attached to your face? What happens when your body is being tracked? There’s a lot of things that go into making virtual reality systems work, and they all fundamentally change how games are experienced and designed.
The ultimate goal of virtual reality gaming is to convince players that they are actually the inhabitants of another world. A number of components are needed to make this a reality. While head mounted displays like the Oculus Rift bring us one step closer to feeling like we’re inside another world, there are yet more pieces to the puzzle; being able to naturally control the player-character — also referred to as body tracking or full avatar embodiment – within the game will be a massive jump in immersion compared to using the controllers of today’s video game consoles.
As the case studies accumulate, gamification continues to gain traction and garner attention. Yet despite its newfound credibility, most still watch from the sidelines. While it may not be right for every business, the stats are hard to ignore. In 2010, corporations spent $100 million on gamification, and that number is expected to rise to $2.8 billion by 2016. The fact is, when done properly, gamification can work. Brand innovators like Coke and Nike know this, and it turns out, so do scientists.
According to the research of gamification pioneer Jane McGonigal, the reason humans collectively spend 3 billion hours a week playing games is tied to the psychological effects delivered by game mechanics. The neurological flow of dopamine, triggered by these underlying mechanics, plays a powerful role in creating positive emotion. And when game mechanics are applied to marketing problems, the response is the same. No wonder gamification can elicit such extraordinary behaviors. Turns out, regardless of the context, we’re hardwired to play.
Microsoft patent filing reveals new depth sensor and 360-degree interactive display
Microsoft’s R&D division is working on a landmark display technology that will project a full 3D game environment across the walls of player’s bedrooms and living areas, a new patent filing shows.
A breakthrough device, known in the patent as an “environmental display”, will project 360-degree game worlds across all four walls of a room using advanced projection technology.
While there has been a surge in the acceptance and prevalence of game-based learning in schools over the past decade, especially in light of the success of programs like Khan Academy, playing games in the classroom is nothing new. Educational games have been a commonplace part of the K-12 experience since the beginning of the 1980s (and in some places well before that), with early titles introducing students to fundamental math, history, and problem solving concepts just as games do today. While the graphics may not have been great, the games helped to engage a generation of kids with technology and laid a solid foundation for the educational games that were to come.