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Living the game

Last month I wrote an opinion piece, “All the world’s a digital stage”, where I explored the consequences of living in a ubiquitous world. Ubiquitous computing in layman’s terms refers to feedback and response from a world that is totally connected. Gaming has been exploring this topic for decades. The Deus Ex series, for example, places the player smack bam into the augments of the protagonists, thereby allowing the player to have a taste of life in the connected lane. The latest game to explore the topic of virtual reality is Watch Dogs. It centres on the player's ability to hack into various electronic systems, either to obtain and control information or to destroy those devices completely at specific times. The omnipresence of technology coupled with the protagonist’s ability to use that technology points to a Pandora’s Box of privacy violations to be opened. The storyline of Watch Dogs is built around the concept of information warfare, data being interconnected, and the world's increasing use of technology—questioning who exactly runs the computers they depend on.

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“I see the digital shadow you cast..” Watch Dogs

Over the weekend Anthony Wing Kosner  from Forbes reported on the short science fiction film, Sight. It was made by two Israeli students, Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo for their graduation project. It is a brilliant take on the emerging world of augmented reality (AR). The film is shocking in its portrayal of the kind of life a person with augments and  total connectivity can lead.

“The film depicts a day in the life of an engineer for a fictional company called Sight Systems, at some point in the near future. One of the amusing things is that his apartment is almost entirely bare because the contact lens-like implants in his eyes project a data environment on the bare walls. At the beginning we see him playing a kind of virtual reality game, at the successful conclusion of which he has an expression of post-coital bliss One of the effects of the immersive augmented reality software that we see through his eyes is that everything in his life is “gamified.” Every action is rated by difficulty level, every scenario is broken into steps and coached, and every successful action rewarded.”

With Google Glass, and Apple short on its heels with iGlasses, the sci-fi world of gaming is knocking at our doors. Just make sure you understand what is behind that door when you open.

Welcome to the world of no privacy.

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