Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Feel The Game?

In this awkward Tron-suit wanna-be, you too can feel what it’s like to play a game. Okay, so there’s a Kickstarter called ARAIG (As Real As It Gets) to develop a multi-sensory feedback suit that allows you to feel what you’re seeing on the screen as you play a game. There are speakers imbedded throughout the shirt that allow you to have full surround-sound access. So basically…you feel like you’re in the game because the sounds are always with you.

But it also has vibration sensors along the torso and arms to provide feedback. So when a character is shot, you’ll feel a vibration on your arm. Or if you shoot a high-powered weapon, you’ll get feedback by the sensors on the weapon’s kickback. One idea, and this is kind of unique and why I initially read the full story, on the Kickstarter page is that if you get poisoned in a game, for example, the sensors can resonate throughout your body as the venom spreads until you heal…or die.

The Kickstarter itself is not going all that well. It has a $900k goal and has only drummed up $100k. This is where Kickstarter doesn’t focus as well as other projects. When you have such a high dollar item that requires years of testing and production, people are not going to 1-pony up the money, or 2-be willing to wait for so long. The projects that succeed in their fundraising goals start out small. They don’t ask for more than 50k, and that’s more than to get people to donate/support. Beyond that and the attention of the audience falters.

As video games evolve, we’re going to be looking towards newer, better, different ideas to help with the immersion process. Motion gaming and 3D was in the last wave. While I doubt that it will be a while until we get a full virtual reality experience (some of us want to remember that there is a real world), it’s an interesting concept. I just think that the ARAIG is asking for too much, too soon.This is a project that needs to start smaller and develop over time. A lot of us are just not ready to make that leap forward into full sensory mode, yet.


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