Here at Itavio we have deep, passionate and philosophical discourse around tech and we encourage dissent.
Last week, my colleague posted a piece titled: Is Anyone Else Scared of Virtual Reality or Is It Just Me?
Unlike my colleague, I am genuinely excited about mixed reality in general and specifically virtual reality. Having dipped my toe in those waters and experienced what this emerging tech has on offer makes me incredibly excited. And slightly dizzy, but that’s a story for another day.
The fact that virtual reality offers us the ability to tap into our empathy and engage us in ways heretofore only talked about in science fiction or featured on the holodeck of a Star Trek episode is an incredible feat in human ingenuity. (Did I also mention we’re geeks?)
Constantly evolving and yet to reach its full potential, I imagine a future where ill patients can experience able bodiedness and interact with friends and family in ways that will be almost as good as ‘the real thing.’
I imagine doctors learning about the immune system while sizing up hemoglobin enlarged to the nth degree like a Honey I Shrunk The Kids reference on crack.
I imagine freedom from cubicles as workers previously tied to desks can log in from anywhere and attend a board meeting.
I imagine progression in mental health as those suffering from trauma and stress can take cognitive and exposure therapy to entirely new levels.
And most exciting to me of all I imagine a revolution in truly engaging storytelling where choose your own adventure becomes a literal and virtual if you will forgive the pun reality. Imagine learning about ancient civilizations and immersing yourself in other cultures, languages, situations and yes play!
While doom and gloom predictors fear a world where the joy virtual reality promises is trumped by headsetted humans no longer engaging with others, I am reminded of what Socrates had to say about the advent of writing: That the written word was the enemy of memory.
He himself never recorded anything, and it's thanks to his student Plato that we have access to any of his words. Ironic.
He was not the last to wring his hands and shout about the sky falling, when the printing press was created alarmists sounded bells about the flood of ideas and data, an overabundance of which would be harmful to the mind. Radio, was a scourge distracting children from the legitimate pursuit of reading, television was predicted to be the death of radio and all conversation, and finally the telephone would break down families.
What does this mean for gaming specifically?
Change is inevitable and like it or lump it, it will happen. Certainly VR offers a compelling experience on a level not yet achieved by previous technologies, and how we best manage this to ensure its impact leans more towards positive social change should be a focus. There are certainly dangers in young minds forming addictive patterns or being exposed to content that could be considered problematic.
But all these concerns stem back to the actual fear that we need to keep IRL interaction. True contact is integral to our growth and well-being as a species. So it all comes down to what we do with our tech and how we ensure young minds are molded to deal with the challenges and changes coming their way.
That’s why we do what we do at Itavio, we want to be part of positive changes in technology that place players first by working with parents and content creators.
We need to start understanding and addressing problems in advance. As always younger audiences will drive adoption of this and all technology. Learn a little more about them here. And hit us up for a chat about your content and how you’re engaging with your younger audiences.
At Itavio we can help you with those tools. Download our white paper now to get started.
- When The Telephone was Dangerous - The Atlantic
- Socrates on the Forgetfulness that Comes with Writing
About The Author: Melani Flanagan
Melani is the co-founder of Itavio. She's a self-proclaimed Bad Dance Enthuasist.
More posts by Melani Flanagan