One of my daughters received an invitation to a Wii birthday party. I mentioned it in passing to The Belgian Wonder as we were leaving church.”A what party?” he asked.”A Wii party,” I said, swinging my arm around as if I were holding one of the handsets.”Oh! I was thinking the other kind of ‘whee,'” he said. “Well, I guess it’s the hot new thing, isn’t it?””They’ll have a blast, I’m sure,” I said.”Until the next new thing comes along.””That’s true,” I agreed. “One day, the Wii will be Pong.””And we’ll say, ‘Remember when we had to hold something in our hand? Hahaha! That was so goofy! Now we just think it!'”I didn’t think I’d showed him the story I clipped a week or so ago from the Wall Street Journal (the WSJ article is archived, but I found a similar story from The Washington Post). “Did I show you that news story?””About what?””About the headset that reads your brain waves so that you can control an avatar’s movements with your thoughts?””No, but just think. One day we’ll say, ‘Remember when we used to have to wear a headset to move our avatars?'”His point? Don’t be too enamored with the new, because the new inevitably becomes old.My point? Doesn’t this brain-wave headset seem totally freaky?The Washington Post article wrote:
A start-up company called Emotiv Systems has developed a helmet-like headset that, it says, lets users control game characters with their thoughts.The device looks like something used for heavy-duty orthodontics, and it comes with receptors that read activity among the brain’s neurons. The player then teaches the device’s software to associate thought patterns with commands. According to the game news blog Kotaku, which got an early look, players could push and pull an object by willing it so or scare spirits away with a grimace.
Somewhere else I read that it detects over 30 different expressions, emotions, and actions, improving the realism of Artificial Intelligence characters. Following your brain’s signals, your avatar can wink, smile, laugh, or show anger. And gamers are able to move objects by simply thinking the action.The Redding story quoted the company president:
“This really fulfills the fantasy of video games and takes it to the next level,” said Tan Le, co-founder and president of Emotiv.
Eeew.Sometimes I wish we could return to the good ol’ days, circa 1972, when gaming was in its infancy…so simple and innocent.Just to take you back, I found on YouTube a video showing two minutes and thirty-four seconds of Arcade Pong play:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPkUvfL8T1I]Ah, those were the days.
Hooked on Houses says
My brother and I played Pong for hours. Watching it again now, I can’t quite remember why…. It was pretty exciting back then, though (says the old lady who also remembers getting off the sofa to change the channel on the TV).
My son is totally into the Wii now and has to teach me how to play games on it. He gets frustrated with me when I can’t figure it out right away. “But it’s sooo easy!” he says. Yeah, but you have to remember, I’m a girl raised on Pong and Donkey Kong! -Julia 🙂
Eww is right.
What happened to actually DOING the game… like bowling, tennis or dancing? Why is it that the virtual game becomes more fun than the thing you could do in real life?
Sigh. Our poor kids. They’ll never get to have much fun like that in our house. We make them actually go outside to play basketball and then we force them to sit at a table to play old-fashioned, hold-them-in-your-hands cards. We’re just so mean…
Wow. It’s a little disturbing that someone filmed over 2 minutes of Pong and put it on YouTube!
I’ve never gotten into video games, then or now. My DH, however, loves them and so we have the requisite compliment in the house. I still have to fight the urge to **accidentally** crush the game consoles, though.
Head on over to my hubby’s site and you can play Pong or Ms. Pacman or any number of old school games. http://www.consoleclassix.com
Hooked on Houses: I suppose Pong was mesmerizing because it was the first thing we’d ever seen like it. Donkey Kong and Pacman were amazing advancements, and so it goes until we’re wearing the headsets and thinking our next move into reality. Weird. I actually wish we could go to pre-Pong and keep the whole thing from ever happening…but then, we might end up with no Internet. No e-mail. No blogging…..eeek!
Shalee: You are so mean! So counter-cultural! Your kids will be muttering, “My parents are so totally out of touch…” (Keep it up!) 🙂
beautifulheritage: I popped over to YouTube on a whim just to see…and the scary thing? That wasn’t the only video available! There were more!
Rachel: I enjoyed going to your website (hope you all get well very soon), and I briefly visited your hub’s, but then I thought, “No, wait! That’s what I’m trying to *limit* in my life!” I’m sure, however, that retro gamers who are recording two minutes of Pong on YouTube are appreciating his efforts.
Everyone: Is this just a step shy of telepathy? Will we soon have headset-to-headset thought-communication, not needing to really put our thoughts into words?
And I wonder how does Hebrews 3:1 fit into this: “Fix your thoughts on Jesus”? Or Colossians 3:2, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things”?