Virtually Rambling – Jess Naous

The future is now.. the future is WOW!

… Trust me, I didn’t like that name at first either.. but the more you say it, well.. no it’s pretty bad every time.

In general, me and Keidens idea is this. Every fortnight, we will take in a concept of cyber cultures. We will spend one week studying it, doing as much research as we can to stimulate some intellectual discussion, and then on the next week we will record the podcast and aim for under 15 minutes for each one. What we will try our best to do is to focus on VR and AR. Even if we talk about other parts of cyber cultures, we want to relate it back to Virtual and Augmented reality and discuss how they are prime examples of the development of the cyber world. Because, essentially.. that is what we truly believe. That VR and specifically (hopefully) in the future, AR will be revolutionary and perfect examples of how we are moving forward in the cyber world.

We have already completed one podcast in which we discuss the movie and anime series, Sword Art Online.

The series basically delves into the gaming world of VR, however the gamers get trapped in the game due to an evil agenda. The new movie, released in 2017, looks further into the cyber world. The movie discusses and demonstrates the use of AR in the everyday life of teenagers. Set years in the future, the country has allowed for AR to become a regular thing in society. Not only does the AR in the movie delve into the gaming world, it is used for basically everything. The device they have is used for texting, checking weather and many other functions. Essentially.. it your phone, only without needing to pick up a phone.

Our main discussion focused on how the film portrayed each reality. In the movie there are two very clear representations we get. For VR, we get a safe feeling. A feeling that we know, a familiar area. Kirito would much rather VR and doesn’t seem comfortable at all in entering AR. And that brings us to how AR is represented. You get this unknown feeling, almost uncomfortable. As if you are simply waiting for something bad to happen.

Whether the writers wanted this to happen on purpose, these are the feelings me and Keiden both felt when watching  it. This got us talking.. are we all scared of AR? Should we be scared? And why? Some people believe AR is a “fresh take” on the over used idea of VR.

Well in the movie.. it brings up the concept and possibility of there being “ghosts” in the AR world. This honestly frightened me. Can the AR world become so “real” that a ghosts can appear? A virtual ghost? But surely that simply is a malfunction? But how can we be sure? Its question after question, and trust me if you listen to the podcast, you can hear us rambling about this!

In the end we just had to admire the way that the movie so bravely used VR and AR, even though the experiences in the movie were mostly bad. It demonstrates how we as a cyber society are becoming more comfortable with discussing, watching and being apart of these alter realities. We are accepting it and it gets people like me and Keiden excited because, well.. we believe strongly that these other realities hold great potential for the cyber world and we as the nerds we are can only dream that one day.. we are at the same point SAO is at, and we will have AR systems in almost every domestic household like we do with laptops now. And this shouldn’t be scary, it should be exciting.

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