Valve's goal for VR - surpassing "immersion" with true presence inside gameworld

Baleoce

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once porn games come out with full VR support you're going to have a massive drop in birth rate around the world except for third world countries
you just know as soon as VR gains momentum the porn industry will be right around the corner, infact I wouldn't put it past them to invent haptic feedback crotch attachments syncing with VR/AR. >.>
 

CyclopsRock

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How do you walk? Would that not remove your sense of "presence" a bit? Note, I haven't used an OR or anything like that, so I don't know how powerful the sensation is.
 

Seanspeed

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Old articles. I can see you aren't paying attention to developments, but I probably didn't need proof to assume that was the case anyways.

I'll grant you basement.

You surmised that I pulled this out of my ass. I didn't. I'm a scientist that's done research on both presence and cybersickness. (and saying it's alleviated by reducing latency is frankly pretty lolworthy to me; even if all usability gripes are diminished you're still left with vection induced by peripheral vision (being shit out of luck if you're a woman), and proprioceptive incongruence. The only thing strongly reducing cybersickness in this sense is attenuation, but who wants to attenuate to vomiting?)

In any case, as such I had quite a few talks with researchers in the HMD field--mind you this was six years ago so ancient history to you but I think the principle holds, and they told me that many people liked HMDs less than other virtual reality forms also because of the anxiety that you were effectively blind to the outside world. It's not unlike putting your bed's headboard towards the door or sitting with your head facing the wall and your back towards a crowd of people, exposing yourself to attack. There's security in being able to glance away that you lose when immersing yourself completely. For some, this anxiety shifts into claustrophobia.

Of course people didn't report this from the Oculus Rift exposure, because they are self-selected tech enthusiasts.

And maybe all gamers are, making my point moot, and not creating a barrier for mainstream gamer appeal. Or also because people adapt to it very fast, and want to adapt to it because of positive word of mouth. For now at least, I remain a lot more skeptic than the average tech enthusiast raving about the thing.

Safe to say nothing will convince you that this tech isn't for real blabla.
I find it quite sad that you're a scientist seeing how close-minded you seem to be and how you are quick to talk about things that you're not actually knowledgeable about(which shows when you obviously haven't seen the latest Oculus developments).

As far as the claustrophobia goes, it doesn't really make sense. The point of VR is to put people into a different world. Perhaps the phenomenon you speak of existed because the VR of old was simply not convincing to the brain. Again, times have changed. This is not your papa's VR set.
 

spekkeh

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Old articles. I can see you aren't paying attention to developments, but I probably didn't need proof to assume that was the case anyways.
Sigh. Please enlighten me o oracle. Which regular users that previously suffered from cybersickness suddenly easily play around with the newest dev kits.

I find it quite sad that you're a scientist seeing how close-minded you seem to be and how you are quick to talk about things that you're not actually knowledgeable about(which shows when you obviously haven't seen the latest Oculus developments).

As far as the claustrophobia goes, it doesn't really make sense. The point of VR is to put people into a different world. Perhaps the phenomenon you speak of existed because the VR of old was simply not convincing to the brain. Again, times have changed. This is not your papa's VR set.
Yes, thank you for this lecture on what a good scientist should be like. I will now proceed to believe everything PR people and enthusiasts tell me immediately.
 

Sciz

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I'll grant you basement.
Maybe I'm off base on this, but I don't see a society that got acclimated to everyone staring at their personal handheld screens in public settings in a matter of years having all that much trouble with people being literally wrapped up in their own personal worlds. Especially if this breaks out of the gaming space and ditches that stigma in favor of something like virtual tourism.

Sigh. Please enlighten me o oracle. Which regular users that previously suffered from cybersickness suddenly easily play around with the newest dev kits.
Here's one. Here's another. Probably more out there, but that's just within the first five hits for "rift crystal cove nausea".
 

Coconut

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Heavily rumored VR device based on the Oculus Rift design [fisheye lenses, one or two screens, anti-fisheye game rendering].



Not all games are aimed to provide 1st person experience. You will never mistaken Japanese VR shoot-em-ups with maids as end bosses for a reality. :D At least I hope you wont.
Even the oculus rift is pushing it for me I don't need that much immersion I like my real life enough that I don't need to remove myself from it that much.


Also you don't know my life. It might be a full on harem anime in my place every night with maids blowing everything up.
 

ido

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Sigh. Please enlighten me o oracle. Which regular users that previously suffered from cybersickness suddenly easily play around with the newest dev kits.
I thought this was pretty well documented thus far. Oculus has outlined clear reasons for why they feel people get cybersickness, as you call it, and have addressed it with their internal prototypes and current Crystal Cove demo. So far I have yet to read ANY impression of the latest demonstration that complained about any "cybersickness" or nausea. Just the opposite, in fact.
 

Zaptruder

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Godspeed Oculus and Valve. Godspeed.

As far as the brain goes - the more you can offload the expectation of prediction with actual sensory backup...

The more cognition your brain can devote towards expectation of prediction of other sensory elements - and also the more hooks it can engage.

In other words - the more realistic you make the visual/spatial/audio side of things... the more the rest of your bodies senses will synchronize the expectations with the information.

With extremely realistic motion and vision, you can provide middling haptic feedback (i.e. rumble and or skin stretch) - and experience something extraordinarily realistic.

Especially true for lower bandwidth senses (i.e. literally uses less electrical bandwidth of your nervous system) which tends to take sensory cues from more bandwidth intense senses.

So with excellent vision and head tracking, great audio tracking, good full body tracking - you can get people to walk on the spot for movement and have it feel like a very realistic sensation of movement.

The brain is quite adaptive and malleable in that sense - if suddenly you lost the sensations unique to actual forward movement relative to simply walking on the spot (i.e. so the sensation of actually moving around felt the same as putting on a VR headset and walking on the spot) - the brain would quickly adapt to this new norm and would simply inform itself that you were indeed walking forwards.

But then you take off the headset and you walk normally - it'd readapt to those cues - and eventually learn the context and treat both like an accurate perception of forward motion.
 

spekkeh

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Maybe I'm off base on this, but I don't see a society that got acclimated to everyone staring at their personal handheld screens in public settings in a matter of years having all that much trouble with people being literally wrapped up in their own personal worlds. Especially if this breaks out of the gaming space and ditches that stigma in favor of something like virtual tourism.



Here's one. Here's another. Probably more out there, but that's just within the first five hits for "rift crystal cove nausea".
It's a good argument, and it certainly could happen. But I'm afraid it may be one bridge too far. Of course I could be entirely wrong on this.

edit: ugh, train internet is really slow. It's promising that this guy suffers less from it. It could still be attenuation, and definitely, latency is a big reason. Still, only a few people used to 3D exposure, and not women.
 

Seanspeed

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Sigh. Please enlighten me o oracle. Which regular users that previously suffered from cybersickness suddenly easily play around with the newest dev kits.
Don't fucking sigh and act patronizing when you're the one not paying attention.

Yes, thank you for this lecture on what a good scientist should be like. I will now proceed to believe everything PR people and enthusiasts tell me immediately.
I'm not asking you to believe everything that you're told. I'm saying that you are acting close-minded and speaking of things which you are ignorant of. Things that I would generally think a good scientist would be careful of doing.

Even this strawman response should be something you'd think a scientist would think better of.
 
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VR is gonna be bigger than Apple II, bigger than smartphones, bigger than the home computer itself! It's going to have a major impact on our society economically, socially, politically, and scientifically. Sociologists, anthropologists, scientists, philosophers, and politicians will be will be fighting over the effects VR will have on our society and humankind for decades to come.

Shit gonna be cray!
 

bj00rn_

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In any case, as such I had quite a few talks with researchers in the HMD field--mind you this was six years ago so ancient history to you but I think the principle holds, and they told me that many people liked HMDs less than other virtual reality forms also because of the anxiety that you were effectively blind to the outside world. It's not unlike putting your bed's headboard towards the door or sitting with your head facing the wall and your back towards a crowd of people, exposing yourself to attack. There's security in being able to glance away that you lose when immersing yourself completely. For some, this anxiety shifts into claustrophobia.
I got claustrophobia when watching the "Sunshine" movie (man those suits..)., but I never got claustrophobic when using my oculus rift. Neither did anyone in my family. Its important that the device is powered up before you strap it onto someone whos not used to it though. There is even an opening under the rift where you can look at the real world so to speak, I use it to glance at the keyboard when I need to hit a key.
 

syko de4d

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VR is gonna be bigger than Apple II, bigger than smartphones, bigger than the home computer itself! It's going to have a major impact on our society economically, socially, politically, and scientifically. Sociologists, anthropologists, scientists, philosophers, and politicians will be will be fighting over the effects VR will have on our society and humankind for decades to come.

Shit gonna be cray!
in 100 years we will have skimmed off the most ressources from the earth and normal living sucks because of that. So we get just fed and washed by robots while we live our whole lives in VR.

In 100 years someone will find this post and call me Nostradamus 2.0 xD
 

Mr.Green

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It's a little sad how a couple of uninformed attention whores can derail a thread. There's thousands of people who actually tried it and unanimously came out of the experience with their minds blown, but they know better.

Anyway, on topic...

I literally screamed like a little girl trying a horror game demo (Alone in the Rift) and since then, I'm scared shitless of trying anything remotely scary in the Rift. For the record, horror games and movies do usually nothing for me. Does that count as presence?

Another, and probably more accurate, "presence" experience I had in the Rift was playing a little first person puzzle game called Qbeh. At some point, in classic fashion, you have to place blocks to climb a wall. You place one, climb on it, place another one, climb on it, etc... I was playing standing up and I literally tried to put my hand on the wall to secure myself. It sure blows your fucking mind when that happens.

Even if I understand why, I'm a little bummed that Oculus is targeting a seated experience. Because when you play a game where you have a character walking around, simply standing up is night and day. There's really a switch that flips up in your brain. There's no position tracking on the DK1 but when I start playing a first person demo seated and then I stand up, I could swear my point of view changes in the game. But it doesn't! I made a friend try that and he felt the same.

I used to say playing standing up was a lot more immersive. Now I'll call that: Presence! :)
 

Sciz

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It's a good argument, and it certainly could happen. But I'm afraid it may be one bridge too far. Of course I could be entirely wrong on this.
I imagine the worst case scenario, like all other revolutions in technology and entertainment, is that it'll take a generational shift to truly find acceptance.


edit: ugh, train internet is really slow. It's promising that this guy suffers less from it. It could still be attenuation, and definitely, latency is a big reason. Still, only a few people used to 3D exposure, and not women.
Yeah, not a whole lot of people who've gotten their hands on the latest model publicly. They're definitely aware of and working on the issues, though, and you could probably have a great chat with Palmer about them if you could get in contact.
 

Elitro

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Presence huh.
Some games will have a harder time to achieve it, i was thinking a game like RockBand on drums (seated experience) could "easily" achieve presence by having your band do crazy stuff on stage and the crowd react and look at you if you stimulate them.

The bigger the world, the harder it will be to have a believable presence. But the first MMO to make you feel inside the game could achieve a bigger success than WoW did.
 

bj00rn_

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Presence huh.
Some games will have a harder time to achieve it,
That's not really what I think of when I think of presence in my experience with the OR. Unless the developer effed up the 1:1 scaling, or numbers were off (framerate, latency etc) the presence, the feeling of being there in each individual universe, is mostly always there, which is why this generation of VR is so great. Minecraft looks pretty damn awful - But you still feel the presence, the feeling of being there inside that world. The quality of the experience, and how good the developer is to further immerse you from there is a different thing.
 

Elitro

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That's not really what I think of when I think of presence in my experience with the OR. Unless the developer effed up the 1:1 scaling, or numbers were off (framerate, latency etc) the presence, the feeling of being there in each individual universe, is mostly always there, which is why this generation of VR is so great. Minecraft looks pretty damn awful - But you still feel the presence, the feeling of being there inside that world. The quality of the experience, and how good the developer is to further immerse you from there is a different thing.
That was my initial idea as well, but from the OP Valve defines immersion as being inside the game and presence as your brain thinking you are the main character (thus your reality changes). Which is just a buzzword for complete immersion as you describe it :)
 

Seanspeed

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Its a total buzzword and just semantics.

Still, there's nothing wrong with describing an extreme degree of something with a new word. That's pretty common.

Where do you think the word 'tubular' came from? You don't just say something is tubular and only half mean it. If something is tubular you know its fucking awesome.
 

spekkeh

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Don't fucking sigh and act patronizing when you're the one not paying attention.

I'm not asking you to believe everything that you're told. I'm saying that you are acting close-minded and speaking of things which you are ignorant of. Things that I would generally think a good scientist would be careful of doing.
... Okay I calmed down a little. You're right that I did not know Crystal Cove was playable at the CES. In fact I am entirely ignorant of the experience of Oculus Rift other than what other people said, because I have not used it. I am however not ignorant of the causes of cybersickness, and if OculusVR says they eradicated it due to reducing latency I do not believe them outright, if nothing else because I was able to induce cybersickness in 40% of the participants by putting them in front of a large screen, without an HMD. Nor am I ignorant of other problems related to HMD uptake, so I guess you dismissing them outright and subsequently questioning my professional outlook rubbed me entirely the wrong way.

Don't get me wrong, I'm actually pretty excited for Oculus Rift. In fact I tried to get my research group to buy one. Sadly my professor also has a background in VR and was even more 'close-minded' in respect to its future popularity. However the question I was responding to was not based on whether I was excited for it myself as a gamer, but whether it would become mainstream, which I doubt.
 

War Eagle

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VR has me more excited than literally anything else in tech. I wish I knew someone around me who had DK1 and would let me come over and try it. Are there any CT gaffers with one here, by chance, who have one and wouldn't mind a stranger trying it out? Will pay in alcohol.
 

coldcrush

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Before I go on, let me say that I think VR will be the future, I am excited beyond belief about some of the games that will be possible and I am making my own VR project outside of work in Unity and that I will own whatever devices are out there.

I still think there is a tough road ahead for full VR AAA development. I work for a games studio, and I know that the powers that be would probably not put a full 40 mill budget into developing a VR game because the user base will not be huge, as in, you are already competing hard for a share of the market and that's just for people . Even in years to come when the install base is much higher, some games simply don't work in VR, and some people simply won't like being in VR, or want to stick with a traditional view. That isnt to say, you could still have a 3rd person game that you play in vr, where the view is essentially pivoting camera that you can view in 360 degrees, Some hard work and thinking could solve it, I just know that it will be a hard road ahead...and whilst it will be for me it won't be for everyone,,
I can see it becoming mainstream when they make Avatar Movie in full VR, or Pixar do something in VR,
I am really glad that the momentum seems to be favorable at the moment,
 

ido

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I was trying out some demos on lunch today, and the one with the most "presence" so far has been the redframe demo. Very nice experience. I can't even imagine how cool a demo like this will be with positional tracking and a much better screen.

For those with a current dev kit, I highly suggest giving this a try. It's one of the most impressive demos I have tried so far, despite it only being a room.

http://redframe-game.com/blog/redframe-oculus-rift-demo/
 
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in 100 years we will have skimmed off the most ressources from the earth and normal living sucks because of that. So we get just fed and washed by robots while we live our whole lives in VR.

In 100 years someone will find this post and call me Nostradamus 2.0 xD
I read a book very similar to this when I was in high school, forget the name. The earth is completely rundown and most people have downloaded themselves into a virtual world, but there are "natural" people that won't do it; you can imagine the rest. Sort of like the matrix, but the opposite in some ways.
 

Seanspeed

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... Okay I calmed down a little. You're right that I did not know Crystal Cove was playable at the CES. In fact I am entirely ignorant of the experience of Oculus Rift other than what other people said, because I have not used it. I am however not ignorant of the causes of cybersickness, and if OculusVR says they eradicated it due to reducing latency I do not believe them outright, if nothing else because I was able to induce cybersickness in 40% of the participants by putting them in front of a large screen, without an HMD. Nor am I ignorant of other problems related to HMD uptake, so I guess you dismissing them outright and subsequently questioning my professional outlook rubbed me entirely the wrong way.

Don't get me wrong, I'm actually pretty excited for Oculus Rift. In fact I tried to get my research group to buy one. Sadly my professor also has a background in VR and was even more 'close-minded' in respect to its future popularity. However the question I was responding to was not based on whether I was excited for it myself as a gamer, but whether it would become mainstream, which I doubt.
'Cybersickness' seems to have been effectively eliminated. The Rift went from something that produced the effect in almost every user to some degree(many saying you needed to get your VR legs with several play periods to overcome it), to something with which, as far as we know, has not affected a single person with the new prototype. That is Oculus' claim, but there has been no shortage of people to report on the nausea before and yet we've seen none so far, backing up the claim. There has even been people who said they had trouble before and have none now, providing a consistent impression across the board.

A lot of what is 'known' about VR seems largely the result of subpar technology not creating an effective solution. But things are different now. How people feel and react to this iteration seems to be far more exciting, fulfilling and 'right' than ever before. By a decent amount, according to a lot of the people involved. I don't think its fair to bring up a lot of the past research when it could well be completely outdated and not relevant anymore.
 

spekkeh

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Right, and that's great, but then you should still be mindful that the current users of OR are not a representative sample. Latency, bad tracking, weird FOVs and flicker will get almost everyone nauseous. With these gone, a subset could still.
 

ido

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Right, and that's great, but then you should still be mindful that the current users of OR are not a representative sample. Latency, bad tracking, weird FOVs and flicker will get almost everyone nauseous. With these gone, a subset could still.
Certainly it's impossible to eliminate nausea for literally everyone.

But people that had nausea issues with the dev kit are no longer having issues with the Crystal Cove.
 

DieH@rd

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I'm starting to think anyone out to market this should shy away from the "VR" and "Virtual Reality" moniker as it evidently still has the stigma of the awful attempts from the 90's.
Nah, this time VR works well. And if done right, it can really simulate reality and completely fool our brains into thinking that we are someplace else. Even first oculus rift devkit with its crude tech [lowres, blurry & laggy] can create that feeling.
 

Seanspeed

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Right, and that's great, but then you should still be mindful that the current users of OR are not a representative sample. Latency, bad tracking, weird FOVs and flicker will get almost everyone nauseous. With these gone, a subset could still.
What subset is that, though? I think you need a bit more specific analysis of that group of people and who they are before you go telling us that this is not ready for mainstream. Just saying that some people 'could still' have issues is pretty unscientific without at least a minimum amount of relevant research to support the notion.

Many of your points have been proven wrong so far and yet you're still sticking to your guns. I understand scepticism, believe me. But there comes a point where it feels far more like stubbornness than rational disbelief. And I think you've crossed that line a while ago.
 

Durante

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Yes, according to the company selling the thing apparently the yet to be revealed version remedies what has been dogging billions of dollars spend on military grade VR forever.
Eye strain isn't an issue even with DK1. It's less of a strain than a monitor. What they claim to have greatly mitigated is sickness (which was a real issue in DK1, be it simulator sickness or motion sickness), and all independent reports so far confirm that.

And maybe all gamers are, making my point moot, and not creating a barrier for mainstream gamer appeal. Or also because people adapt to it very fast, and want to adapt to it because of positive word of mouth.
Or because, to quote a great man, VR is truly fundamentally cool.

Yes, thank you for this lecture on what a good scientist should be like. I will now proceed to believe everything PR people and enthusiasts tell me immediately.
As a scientist I do find it a bit concerning how quick you are to dismiss something you have neither tried nor have any halfway decent data set to warrant that dismissal either.
 

AScotAbroad

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Right, and that's great, but then you should still be mindful that the current users of OR are not a representative sample. Latency, bad tracking, weird FOVs and flicker will get almost everyone nauseous. With these gone, a subset could still.
Can't say I've really disagreed with your comments so far, but I just wanted to give you a thumbs up for moving beyond your initial comments which i found a little hostile and continuing to explain your concerns in a rational, thoughtful way.

I've very briefly tried the OR and can't wait for a consumer version, but a view people trying the new version at CES for 10 minutes and saying it's better at eliminating nausea does NOT mean it's perfect. What if nausea only sets in after 15 minutes? You make some good points :)

Its great that we're all super excited about this tech and the games it will bring us, but way too many people are just regurgitating press impressions as 100% concrete fact. No one is out to sabotage OR's reputation and be a doomsayer, just chill out...
 

Syf

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Frontiers said:
The Oculus Dev kit is a smeary mess next to what I just experienced. I was in another world.
Damn, I can't wait to see what's in store in the next two years. Very exciting tech by the sounds of it.
 

Nafai1123

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I just want to say, I'm so fucking pumped to be living in this day and age. We truly are at the beginnings of a technological renaissance.
 

Tehalemi

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Godspeed Oculus and Valve. Godspeed.

As far as the brain goes - the more you can offload the expectation of prediction with actual sensory backup...

The more cognition your brain can devote towards expectation of prediction of other sensory elements - and also the more hooks it can engage.

In other words - the more realistic you make the visual/spatial/audio side of things... the more the rest of your bodies senses will synchronize the expectations with the information.

With extremely realistic motion and vision, you can provide middling haptic feedback (i.e. rumble and or skin stretch) - and experience something extraordinarily realistic.

Especially true for lower bandwidth senses (i.e. literally uses less electrical bandwidth of your nervous system) which tends to take sensory cues from more bandwidth intense senses.

So with excellent vision and head tracking, great audio tracking, good full body tracking - you can get people to walk on the spot for movement and have it feel like a very realistic sensation of movement.

The brain is quite adaptive and malleable in that sense - if suddenly you lost the sensations unique to actual forward movement relative to simply walking on the spot (i.e. so the sensation of actually moving around felt the same as putting on a VR headset and walking on the spot) - the brain would quickly adapt to this new norm and would simply inform itself that you were indeed walking forwards.

But then you take off the headset and you walk normally - it'd readapt to those cues - and eventually learn the context and treat both like an accurate perception of forward motion.
...well damn. O__O
 

Kevin

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As a small time gaming journalist back in 2005/2006 I published a lot of articles on VR and why I felt like it was the future. Just about everyone wrote be off and said VR would never become a viable thing.

It's nice to see that VR is indeed becoming a mass movement and finally a dream that I had since I was a little boy is being realized.
 

Ashodin

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I'm ready for the holodeck. Gimme!

I want to be in a Dragon Age where I can physically interact with the world, and just experiencing life in it will keep me physically fit as I battle enemies. The game will register how hard or fast I hit something and deal more damage, etc.
 

cyberheater

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I just want to say, I'm so fucking pumped to be living in this day and age. We truly are at the beginnings of a technological renaissance.
I 100% agree with this post. 2 or 3 years from now it's going to be nuts.