[rescue] replacing an Ultra2

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Thu Apr 26 19:06:11 CDT 2007

Wed, 25 Apr 2007 @ 17:39 -0500, Matthew Weigel said:

> Charles Shannon Hendrix wrote:
> > You know, there really are people who develop serious issues with online role
> > playing games.
> > 
> > If they lose themselves that much in a game using a mouse and keyboard, I
> > can't imagine what will happen to some people when games start using sensory
> > immersion.
> I'm biased[1], but I don't think it's all that mentally unhealthy[2], and I
> don't think it's a matter of graphics or immersion.  Lots of people in the
> past got really involved with BBSes, Usenet, MUDs, MUSHes, and so on.  

I understand that, it wasn't my point.

Modern games aren't providing immersion. The user has to do that

If he becomes hungry enough, he'll get up and eat except in rare cases.
More common problems are inadequately caring for himself, etc.

What I'm talking about is game systems that deliberaly shut off external
stimulus and sensor input, to favor the game system instead. Right now,
we are still staring at a flat screen and using a keyboard.

Imagine a game system where you lie on a sensory negating couch with
noise isolation, and you see the game world through your own eyes.

It might push people over the edge, to where their conscious mind sees
that world as real.

While we haven't done that yet, not completely, we have done experiments
in detaching people from local awareness with drugs and sensory

Quite a few people in that state will literally starve to death. When
they get hungry, the brain basically suppresses any reaction because it
no longer recognizes that as an input from the real world. The imaginary
world is what is real to them at that point.

It's not that much of a stretch to think that a game in the future might
be capable of causing similar phenomena.

The difference will be that the subject won't be in a lab with people to
take them out of it, they'll be sitting alone in their gaming room,
perhaps with no one checking on them.

William Gibson explored this a lot in the Necromancer series.

> Mentally and socially, I think it provides a valuable social outlet
> for people who for whatever reason aren't getting as much social
> interaction as they want or need.  I don't see it as unhealthy that
> they get that interaction online, and I don't think it's horrible if
> they make friends online that they like better than RL friends.

Well, I don't necessarily think that being a hermit is bad for everyone.

It depends on the person. For most of my life I've been fairly
independent of others, while a lot of people seem to wilt if they don't
make contact with someone daily.

However, I think that purely online interaction is bad for several
reasons, the basic dishonesty of it being one of them.

People who only socialize like that really don't know how to socialize
at all.  

Interesting thoughts on this subject were written 100 years ago in a
story called, "The Machine Stops".

It's a quick read, and incredibly clairvoyant.

> 1. I work at NCsoft, which does nothing but develop and publish online
> games.  2. Physically, that's a different matter... but in the same
> way as many desk jobs, which the human race has been dealing with for
> at least fifty years.


I'm amazed at how much effort we'll spent to reduce effort.

What sucks is that if you go out of your way to try and buck that
system, you are treated as if there were something wrong with you.

My boss actually got mad at me years ago because I didn't use the
elevators, and I used to go work outside. He said that was "unnatural".

shannon           | Work for something because it is good, not just because 
                  | it stands a chance to succeed. 
                  |        -- Vaclav Havel

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