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How do you guys feel about Augmented Reality? [roundtable]
Though the tech may be interesting, and one day, someone will make a playable ghost-hunting game (with a PK Meter!), I'm not convinced that a great game will ever be born from it.

Plus the Eyetoy-type application seems really cheesy, where you stare at your own goony, mirrored face as you make hamburgers, and shit. I could conceivably get into that style of game if you could put the camera behind you, but how many great games are played in Second-Person? It's so weird.

I'm not sure how far the term "Augmented Reality" goes, though. Does it cover, like, RTS games made from Google maps? I'm mostly talking about camera-based stuff. I remain unconvinced.

(Also, I've had ideas for AR games for years, and I'm pissed that everyone's 'stealing' them now! Ooo, I just had another. What if there was a dating game based on facial recognition? Like, you'd have to smile at appropriate moments and look sad at appropriate moments, and appear interested as your virtual date blathered on and on about her problems.)

Anyway, what do you peeps think about AR? The future? The wrong tree?

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Posted: 03/19/10, 19:36:41
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Maybe. Anyway, I won't live to see the day when a machine can give me the sensation of being outside on a nice day .
Posted: 03/19/10, 22:47:44
@anandxxx There is a lot of science fiction that deals with the dangers of artificial happiness though. Admittedly, it usually requires bringing in some outside danger that the brain dead but happy humans now have no idea how to deal with since they aren't used to, you know... having to do any of that difficult "thinking".

Happiness is an interesting topic though. I mean, you can be on a drug and feel WONDERFUL but often when you come down and get back to the real world, you think... ok that was fun, but kind of empty? Like, would chemicals ever be able to replicate the happiness of creation (love, music, etc.) and doing (erm... love, music, etc.)? I guess they could by making you THINK you are having all of that, but I wonder if that is quite the same as actually knowing you are.

After all, we tend not to envy people living in mental homes who think they are Lincoln, even if they ARE a totally happy Lincoln. I mean, being Lincoln would be pretty cool right? Well, except that he was a manic depressive, but I'm not sure if all the Lincolns in mental homes know that...
Posted: 03/19/10, 22:47:54  - Edited by 
 on: 03/19/10, 22:51:25

More of an AI but oh well.
Posted: 03/19/10, 23:00:24  - Edited by 
 on: 03/19/10, 23:00:45
That's pretty awesome, dude.

I always wanted to create an AI psychiatrist that you could set to different schools. Like, it could use reflection and make the occasional suggestion, based on other cases.

It doesn't have to be a big, depressing-looking Ghost in the Shell pod. Can I interest you in some nanotechnology?

Well, now you're getting into the thick of it. I still haven't researched this thoroughly (because I don't want to find out it isn't true), but I have a scientist friend who told me that there is now a way to trigger the hormones that cause happiness (Endorphins, Serotonins) with a switch, hooked into your glandular system somehow. Like, you push a button and you get happy. According to him, it's a totally clean high, without any (physically) addictive properties, because there are no toxins or inefficiencies, and you aren't mimicking those chemicals with other agents. He says that it is only used for people who are terminally ill, and such.

Why wouldn't that be, like, the number one field of scientific research? That's the end goal, you know? Money, power, fame... those things are just perceived paths to that goal.

In regards to your final paragraph, ignorance is bliss, and happiness is ultimately a state of mind. How often do intelligence and knowledge really bring you happiness? Knowledge is a fucking burden. It's a downer. Crazy, ignorant, happy people are truly the luckiest of us all.

Posted: 03/19/10, 23:03:59  - Edited by 
 on: 03/19/10, 23:08:55

Who cares if its big and depressing-looking as long as it makes me think it looks nice?
Posted: 03/19/10, 23:07:26
Now you're talking!

But if it was a physical construct, then you'd probably have to hook yourself up to it before it could convince you that it looked nice.

Then again, if people can stick a fucking needle in-between their toes, they'll do anything for a high.
Posted: 03/19/10, 23:10:16
Data seemed to be the only one with a healthy relationship with the holodeck who happened to spend a lot of time in it (I submit his production of holodeck sentience as proof he spent inordinate amounts of time in it).

The key as we can see is being an android. Virtual reality isn't endline, androidness is.
Posted: 03/19/10, 23:12:52  - Edited by 
 on: 03/19/10, 23:16:00
@anandxxx Knowledge is kind of a burden, but don't think you think it can bring about a different kind of happiness? And often a sort of deeper kind? I'll tell you, I didn't really start reading much until maybe 5ish years and, and now I read a LOT and I and yeah, it is often depressing once you realize how damn complicated things really are, but I wouldn't really willingly go back to a life of sitting in front of video games either.

Maybe the issue is we are getting caught up in the sort of physical feeling of "happiness" when there may be other things that bring satisfaction to life? I can think of some things that don't exactly make me FEEL "happy" but are still pretty satisfying to think about.
Posted: 03/19/10, 23:20:07

Well everything's wireless these days
Posted: 03/19/10, 23:34:42
This is pretty old but it seems like a lot of you guys haven't seen this:

I mean, that's some pretty cool stuff, right? Not... like... The problem is, it's cool, but is it actually fun? For more than 5 minutes?

I dunno.

Ironically it seems augment reality games are a lot less immersive than regular video games.
Posted: 03/20/10, 00:10:57
I've heard of that game (love the name), but I never watched the presentation. Like I said, very intriguing tech, but I'm going to venture a guess that it wouldn't be that enjoyable to actually play.

The gadget freak inside of me (whom I consume nuts and bolts to feed) loves the wow factor though.

Oh, well, stuff that's wireless isn't depressing anymore. It magically becomes trendy and hip.

I do NOT think that knowledge brings about deeper happiness at all. I genuinely believe that the more you know about the way the world works and the way the people in it think and your place in the whole machinery, the less happy you are. It's sort of like how, when I'm not wearing my glasses, everyone seems reasonably attractive and everything has a gauzy filter and every streetlight becomes a twinkling star. But then I put them on, and the world is revealed for the harsh, ugly place that it is. (Alternate analogy: The Wii, experienced in SD and in HD.) Hedonism, knowledge, and responsibility are in eternal conflict.

I'm not sure where you're going with the sitting in front of a game thing, but I would love to go back to the innocent ignorance of my childhood, when I assumed the best of human nature, because, you know, my mom was my primary example of humanity. It takes a lot of effort and denial to be a cheerful nihilist.

Posted: 03/20/10, 01:30:45

Soon for me, anyway, leaving work in 15 minutes.
Posted: 03/20/10, 01:44:02
Every day's Friday when you mooch off your girlfriend.
Posted: 03/20/10, 01:48:13
There is no tractable relationship between knowledge and happiness. Suppose I refute a strictly negative function for increasing knowledge by supposing someone successfully restricts themselves to knowledge that's beneficial (ie, don't drink the witch's soup). You could choose to neutralize the argument by interpreting the knowledge (ie witches are out to kill me I can't sleep at night T_T), which proves intractability.


I like the AR tegra. Adding virtual components to your toys viewable via screen can't be a bad thing. To make the most of it every object you can manipulate you can think of as a controller in of itself, so like a bunch of wiimotes. Preferably you don't have to look through a screen at all, then you'd just have virtual reality.
Posted: 03/20/10, 02:07:39  - Edited by 
 on: 03/20/10, 02:20:57
@anandxxx It depends on what kind of knowledge you look for. I'm reading Walden right now and it is an interesting book. Basically Thoreau said F the world, it's not my burder/responsibility/etc. to fit in nicely so I'm going to go live in the wilderness and do my own thing. BUT... that also included a lot of reading and thinking. BUT... it also included a lot of sitting on his porch watching the wind blow, or walks in the woods. I dunno, he seemed pretty "happy" overall and seemed to consider his experiment a success. I guess he found a nice balance between using his mind (without feeling responsible for anyone else... he actually dedicates a fair portion of the book to explaining WHY he didn't feel bad about walking away from society and not "contributing" much) and just shutting down the brain and soaking in nature.

Actually I'd bet you would really like the book. He almost makes a philosophy out of social apathy. His basic view is people don't really need many THINGS to be happy, and the few things they do need are easily attainable, and therefore happiness is within pretty much everyone's reach, if they would stop basing their lives around ACQUIRING THINGS. And because happiness is within everyone's reach, he doesn't feel responsible to do much for anyone else, since they could just go do it for themselves.

And he has a point. Half the people who come into the loan offices I support have super nice clothes and cars. And they're putting themselves in debt with high interest, short term payday loans. Why? Because they think they have to have super nice clothes and cars. There is a pretty huge gap between what it costs to have what we NEED and what it costs to have what we THINK WE NEED, and then another gap to what it costs to have what we WANT. If we could learn to start at NEED and move from there, we might be better off?

See, if I wasn't out educating myself through reading, I wouldn't be able to say hey look, Thoreau agrees with me on a lot of things, I'm not totally insane! Ok, so I should be able to say that without relying on anyone else for support, but it does sort of help when I find an author who says what I have always thought...

Anyway, though I'd probably agree that the more you learn about "the world" and society and people the more depressing things are. But I also think there are other kinds of knowledge. One of the reasons I got into computer science (and I LIKE computer science, I just, unfortunately, discovered that computers are very, very bad for my spine) was that it involves a lot of pure logic and higher thinking, without being the kind of thinking where you learn something new and realize how terrible the world is. You get to solve problems that aren't actual problems, they are more abstract mind exercises. Which I guess, in some ways, is spitting in the wind... but on the other hand, it is fulfilling for the mind without making the mind feel like it has to solve all of the world's problems. As much as I'm having back troubles doing computers, I'm glad I'm not a therapist or sociologist or something like that.

Actually, isn't that kind of what we get out of games? I LOVE puzzle games, as they are mental exercises, but they're still games. It doesn't REALLY matter if I never solve the question of the diabolical box...

I guess what I'm saying is that happiness coming from the sense of real accomplishment (even if it isn't world-changing accomplishment) might be tough to fake. Though it probably is very possible to fake in some form. I just wonder if it would lead to the same level of happiness?
Posted: 03/20/10, 03:19:53

Thoreau benefited from living in a time when it was a big property to isolate yourself in was easily affordable. Not really an option for most people these days.
Posted: 03/20/10, 03:24:23
@Jargon Excuses. There are some HUGE ASS and VERY CHEAP houses about 100 miles outside of Chicago.

The thing is, most people don't want to isolate themselves. And that is understandable. I wouldn't want to. But the isolation was really only one part of the book. The stepping outside of the "rules" of society and living on your own means was the main point.

(Actually, he wasn't even THAT isolated...)
Posted: 03/20/10, 06:39:13
Maybe cheap to you, maybe even cheap to an American, but not cheap to the world, I'm sure.

Anyway, I understand his points and I agree with a lot of the things he has to say, but he was in a position to act on them more than most.
Posted: 03/20/10, 06:43:45  - Edited by 
 on: 03/20/10, 06:43:56
I don't see AR as being that big for gaming, but more for practical applications like phones (ie. for tourism and travel purposes).
Posted: 03/20/10, 08:18:43
@Jargon Kind of, but even in his time and place all of his neighbors brought up all of these reasons why they thought he was like... insane to even try it. I mean, no one believed you could just DO that, and he did it. The main point of the book, I think, is that you have to throw aside and just simply look at the basics and what you need and calculate what it will cost to get it... it's usually not that much.

Actually though even now people just don't really understand how to separate wants and needs. You know, I used to live in Chicago with a roommate (Red Shell) and guess how much I lived on? About $800 a month. That included rent, heating/air, phone, Internet, food, car insurance, gasoline, erm... all of my living expenses. And I even managed to buy a few video games and dvds here and there. In fact, to be honest, I was still living well above the basic human needs.

But if you talk to the average person, they would tell you it would be insane to even try to live in Chicago for under $1500 a month or so.
Posted: 03/20/10, 08:38:21
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