Sunday, February 10, 2008

Moving Through Space

I found the discussion of virtual environments and space in Manovich’s article to be of particular interest. I was especially fascinated with the idea of Osmose. If the terms of movement were as I understood them to be any amount of thrashing and flailing of appendages causes absolutely no movement in the virtual environment. The only way to navigate is to control your breathing, to think and manipulate a task which is automated from the moment of birth. It seems like it’s asking the user to focus on every detail of their life. What if this idea was taken a step further, the rate of your heartbeat moves you; the temperature of your body propels you through some computerized space? Could one learn to control these conditions too? Though I was unable to find a video link on youtube, I recall once seeing a man bury his head in the sand for hours on TV without having to come up and breathe. Could a video game be able to realize this kind of concentration? It brings to life existential philosophy, to appreciate the fullness of every second, of every moment, of every sensation. I guess when it truly comes down to it I have more questions than answers when it comes to the role of space in how we perceive things and the role of space in perception.
On a lighter note, the discussion of “games” in the article brought to mind more conventional games and how they deal with space. The classic, fun-filled party-game, Twister creates a unique environment, a virtual reality if you will, its own rules governing how one is allowed to move through space. Right hand must be on red, left foot on yellow.
My discussion would be incomplete without mentioning Nintendo’s take on classic games like Duck Hunter, the Wi, which even more closely knits together the fabric of real space and virtual space. The worlds of virtual and real space are becoming more complexly intertwined. The only real applications of this three dimensional cyberspace so far seems to be as means of entertainment.

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