Apparently this is real old news but it’s new to me and it makes me happy so I want to blog about it. About a year and a half ago a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore made a human Pacman game. Players wear VR goggles and see big cookies in the middle of the road that they run over to gobble up Pacman style. You can choose to be either a Pacman or a ghost and run around with your friends eating virtual cookies or chasing the ones who are eating virtual cookies. Does this sound like the best thing ever or what?
This product could change my life. I would want to leave the house and socialize with other people on a more regular basis. I would possibly even run a little bit which would not be a bad thing. I would stay outdoors for extended periods of time on a regular basis rather than the few days a year when I actually go to a festival or the beach or something like that. I would be the envy of everyone who didn't have this game and might even make some new friends.
Think of the other games that could be brought back to life with this type of technology. We could hunt many a Wumpus, we could Dig various Dugs, and we could invade space. Think of what would happen if the virtual gaming opportunities grew to include RPG classics. We could actually run around town playing Zelda or Kings Quest and scavenge for random goodies on the way. Instead of arcades we could have open air parks dedicated to people running around with goggles on their heads in various teams completing any goal their little hearts desired. The Wii got gamers moving again but this would get people off their couches like never before. Imagine the glory. It would be a dream.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I will be getting human Pacman or any other virtual game any time soon. The equipment costs 10K-20K and I think a PS3 is too expensive. It also seems that one would have to program certain geographic areas into the game so that you don’t bump into things like buildings so playing areas would be limited and there seems to be no way to avoid moving things like cars and buses. In a city environment this could be quite dangerous. Then again, if my park arcade idea catches on maybe we would be onto something. I wonder how you can register non-playing people on the monitor or do you just run into everyone who isn’t plugged into GPS? Then again, if only players are allowed in the park arcade then everyone would have some sort of GPS signal. Maybe I am getting closer to the ultimate solution.
While the drawbacks are obviously many, the fact that the technology exists and is being improved constantly is incredibly exciting. Maybe a version of human Pacman that is affordable and doesn’t cause you to bump into things will be available before I can no longer walk. Here’s to hoping.
This Hear of Stone, Rolling Stones- I love this song. It is so utterly mean and horrible. Last night I watched John Tucker Must Die (I know I know I planned to fall asleep but didn’t) and this song is like John Tucker except that they did break his heart of stone hahaha.
History of Lovers, Iron & Wine- This is off one of the Iron and Wine albums that I downloaded after I decided that I wanted to listen to as much of their music as possible and then haven’t listened to. It has a great beat and while you could dance to it you would look like a cracked out hippie. Note to self: perfect an unrivaled hippie dance before Pitchfork Festival.
Stupid Girl, Garbage- Really? Really? Did this actually come on and am I actually excited about hearing it as I never put it on purposefully? Both things are true. Man am I ever enjoying this song. I miss the 90s so much.