ID:35359
 
Keywords: miscellaneous
I worked a 13-hour day today (plus 2 hours of commuting) and most of it was spent answering questions from Realtors(R) while watching the five-minute reboot cycles of old laptops. I'm not complaining about the Realtors(R); they were very pleasant and one even gave me a donut, the tastiness of which I intend to explore tomorrow morning, but I'm just not a big fan of field work. The upshot is, tonight I'm going to invoke Editorial Privilege and post a link to an interesting and perhaps even thought-provoking external article, instead of a BYONDscape Classic or original content.

WARNING: Contains some harsh language. (The repositioning of Cracked, once Mad Magazine's more wholesome rival, is a story for another time and a different blog, perhaps my own.)

http://www.cracked.com/index.php?name=News&sid=2421&pageid=1

[Edit: changed "rebranding" to "repositioning". They are related but not identical.]
That was a really great article, and I can't wait to see whats going to happen in the next 20-30 years.
"But anyway, Spore looks pretty cool and we're looking forward to it."

That pretty much sums up my take on all of it as well.
The first time I saw Spore I honestly didn't believe it. At the time it was... well... unprecedented in graphics and gameplay. Now, however, the graphics aren't that special, but the gameplay still looks amazing, and the graphics look fine.

I think Will has a winner with Spore, and if it ever gets and good online modes(not just content sharing), it will be a game that's likely to never die. Hopefully they will follow it up with content packs that increase the possible number of creations(more body parts, and perhaps finishing the sea life section that will be cut short in the final product).
I feel a little weirded out after reading that, I mean, alot of the stuff is just "You'll have to see it to believe it."

Not really sure I would trust that "Download your mind" thing though.
I'm going to call bullshit on 90% of that, particularly towards the end.

The first page is mostly fine, except that I'm quite sure nobody will care about PS3 Home very much. I mean, come on, it's been done. Second Life anyone?

Second page: Wireless broadband, lots of handheld stuff. All quite obvious and fine.

Third page: Graphics -> eyeballs. Fair enough, it's a logical evolution of the technology. But no, advertisers won't own it, for the same reason they don't own all the space on your monitor.

Fourth page: Brain control is tricky. There are all sorts of reasons why you'll probably never be able to subvocalise commands and have those commands interpreted and understood. Crude control over brainwaves can be learnt and detected, however, which is I believe what those Emotiv guys are doing. But "learnt" is the key word here.

It's around this point he starts talking about computers that can "exceed the computational ability of the human brain". I don't know where he pulled that claim from, but regardless it's an apples-to-oranges comparison. Computers have already had more "computational power" than humans for quite a while now. (Can *you* calculate the square root of 3957173 in your head in under a millisecond? Didn't think so.) But humans have much better pattern recognition than computers do. Throwing more raw computational power at the problem helps somewhat but doesn't entirely solve all the challenges that human-style pattern recognition presents.

"If you take that Spore-like procedural generation this far into the future, you wind up with games that can basically remake themselves on the fly, according to the reactions of the gamer."

Ehhh. This is dodgy. You still have to program how they're remade, just like you have to do now.

"And if youÂ’re controlling it with your brain waves, it will know your mood."

Wrong. Brain wave control does not automatically imply accurate mood readings.

And reading a mood via brainwaves would be an interesting trick. Even we don't always know our moods. A mood is such a subtle thing that it's hard to quantify it.

Fifth page: Mostly reasonable, though you can be sure that people won't stand for the Big Brother bit at the end of the article.

Sixth page: "As for what sort of "games" or other entertainment would be offered there, it's possible that by then the gaming industry would have achieved its final goal: A device that makes you enjoy the experience no matter what they do."

Maybe I'm just not cynical enough, but personally I think that pure distilled endorphin injections are not the point of the gaming industry. See: Games as learning tools. (And I don't mean as in edutainment. See Raph Koster's "A Theory of Fun" for what I'm getting at here.)

I'm very skeptical of the whole brain downloading thing.

"If the combined thinking power of the world's computers completely dwarfs the combined minds of all the humans, then at this point the machines will pretty much be making games purely to entertain each other."

No they won't, because no matter how many transistors you stuff into a chip, you won't magically get a machine with creativity and desires.

"Even stranger, the simulated people born inside the simulation would have no way of knowing they were in a simulation."

This is only true in a vacuous sense - of course they wouldn't have any way of knowing, because they wouldn't be conscious! They're bit patterns in a storage device somewhere, nothing more.

"But anyway, Spore looks pretty cool and we're looking forward to it."

Oh, aye.
I think he meant that there would be enough power to simulate the human brain, kinda like VMWare simulates another computer. And if you can accurately simulate the human brain, then, assuming you can draw it's current state, you could copy it. But that is assume we can both simulate the human brain AND draw useful information out of it.

I'm still waiting on my damn flying car.
I'm with Crispy. Especially about the Big Brother stuff at the end. A change like that would take more than fifty years for people to accept. Society would have to be slowly eased into that.

One thing it seems to rely on is that we'll be able to wield this computer power just as well as we do now (which isn't that well).
This generation of consoles is facing a big problem. What do you do when you've got enough computing power to make an awesome FPS with great graphics, plenty of actors and still have power to spare? You can't make a racing game better simply by adding more power. Need for Speed: Most Wanted plays the same on the PS2 as it does on the XBOX 360. Halo 3, at it's core, plays like Halo 2. They've got some great features in there but that doesn't really change how Master Chief runs down the hallway blasting Flood.
Danial.Beta wrote:
I think he meant that there would be enough power to simulate the human brain, kinda like VMWare simulates another computer. And if you can accurately simulate the human brain, then, assuming you can draw it's current state, you could copy it. But that is assume we can both simulate the human brain AND draw useful information out of it.

Both of which are HUGE assumptions.

If that is his point, then he had a pretty roundabout way of making it. And I think he's wrong anyway. =P