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Subject: The far distant future of IT entertainment ( 1 of 6 )
Posted by Bystander

For me the Zenith of computer based entertainment – the ultimate pinnacle of interactive media is a dream that one day we might be able to immerse ourselves in a dynamic environment so sophisticated and compelling it might have been scripted by a master playwright. Yet so dynamic we are able to actively take part in it. Unfortunately creating such an environment would either require so much human input as to make it infeasible or a computer system of such cognitive ability that it would presumably find such a task pointless.
There is currently a clear distinction between the erstwhile non-interactive “canned” mediums such as film and TV and the newer interactive - yet stilted medium of computer games.
If we are to somehow reach my pinnacle I feel we need an intermediate stage – a stepping stone, and this is my suggestion.
How about a book/film on computer – no interaction, linear plot, cinematic character direction and “canned” acting but in an environment I can wander about in. An environment in which I can follow any character I wish about in. Of course just like a movie I can rewind but now I get the chance of following subplots and less pivotal characters. I can even stand and watch the extras sleeping. Of course only the central plot(s) need be scripted – bear in mind we can have simultaneous synchronous plots, and perhaps even spurious character development embellishments. Imagine being in the cabinet room as the Primeminister briefs the cabinet. Then rewinding and viewing the stormy row taking place outside between two civil servants. Then going back to find out what the filibustering cabinet minister’s dark secret is – and so on.
Sounds like a DVD? No – I see this taking place in a full real-time rendered 3d environment – first person game style. Impossible?
Actually Sony have recently released the specs for the Playstation 2.
A 300 Mhz 128 bit (world’s first) processor using 0.18 micron technology 32Mb Ram and a graphics processor capable of rendering between 20-70 million polygons/second curved surfaces and a DVD drive – all for under £200!

Is this an impossible dream?


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