The Reality of Sword Art Online – How far are we?
Ever since Sword Art Online anime was aired, the possibility of a virtual MMO resurfaced again. This time round, as technology improved, creating a real SAO game isn’t that far fetched. In fact, virtual reality console is making a breakthrough into the consumer market. Normally, virtual reality console or headset cost thousand of dollars but this one cost lesser and it is intended for us.
Meet Oculus VR.
This is the first ever virtual reality console that actually doesn’t hurt your piggy bank. Although, the price is yet to determined. Analyst put the price range around $700 to $900USD. Which is a pretty reasonable price and there are also wide choice of games too. Right now, the console introduce all first person shooting game like DOOM 3. But if this were really proved to be a success. Other companies will start jump into the VR market and start off your own virtual reality console. Who knows, some company might spend a lot of money on R&D and make the first ever virtual MMO.
But truth to be told, SAO Nerve Gear is completely different from Oculus console. The Nerve Gear send signal to the brain which then the body and the brain will react. Whereas, Oculus still let your body remain conscious and only increase the level of your angle of viewing. Making you feel like as if you are in the game. You can’t feel pain or any of your 5 scenes in the game.
So how far are we from SAO games?
You need a revolution to get there. A virtual reality revolution to get the consumer hyped about it in order to have more demands of such games. In fact, analyst and Oculus VR creator had mentioned that the VR console has the potential to revolutionize. A perfect example of a powerful revolution is Apple Inc and its Iphone and Sony with its first generation Playstation. Something that will spark off a competition in that industry.
But even so, no matter how hyped the consumer are, as long as technology aren’t good enough it will never be possible. And it will all depends on the future of technology and how it has transformed from now. But given our current technology and the speed of development we could roughly guess what will be in the future.
But here’s the problem, it is never easy to predict technology in the future. When the people in the past predicted that there will be flying cars by 2000. It never happened. But theoretically, given our speed of the mobile and gaming industry, it will still take at least more than 20 years for an SAO alike game to be out. By then,
Think about it, console controller will be considered “retro” or “outdated” in the future. Games in a disc and DVD players in a console will be all gone. A complete change.
But even though such game and technology exist, you might think this is fun, getting to play in a virtual reality world. Escaping your daily life problem and stress. I can tell you there will be people or rather “activist” stopping such game from developing. There are also some danger that playing virtual reality game which I couldn’t think it was possible before watching SAO.
Act of Cyber Terrorism
The reason is simple, other than creating more than ever social problem the world is currently having. Using such a technology could also endanger your life. The scenario of SAO is a perfect example of an act of cyber terrorism. Since terrorist always inflict fear by threatening to kill people, SAO like scenario where players are trapped inside the game is possible too.
And if you think terrorist aren’t smart enough to hack high level security database, then you are dead wrong. Currently around the world there are already several cases of cyber terrorism, some successfully hacked and shutdown the entire database center. This scenario isn’t a child foolish thoughts, it is for real.
Other than act of cyber terrorism, don’t be surprised that the company maker of the virtual console or the game might collect data to do some research. As shown in the later part of the anime SAO, such scenario are also possible too. In fact, it is already happening when you install anything Google related and they will ask you whether you wanna send anonymous data to Google or not. But of course, I believe you can opt out that in virtual game too.
Also, government experimenting you is also something to consider too.
The future of gaming
Not sure what will be the future of gaming , but one thing is for sure. The gaming of the future is definitely virtual reality. Old companies in the future who enjoy huge profit from the gaming market now, their days of glory will come to an end. Companies like Ouya or maybe Oculus will lead the market in the future. That is provided if the current console company are unwilling to change.
So for people who wants to play a real SAO game. Stick around alive for 20 more years. You never know, you might find your “Asuna” aka “girlfriend” in the game. But of course, if you stuck in any VR game. Don’t blame me or anyone else for not telling you the danger.