Category: Gadgets

I had the pleasure of using one of Sony’s new Morpheus VR headsets with their Playstation 4 not long ago and given time to think I’m left with very mixed feelings about it all.

reality vs game

In terms of what Sony have done with the software developers they are working with? it was the ultimate childhood video game dream come true. Having a headset placed on you at a fancy promo party by London’s Embankment to then suddenly be sitting in a dark and dingy room with someone holding a blow torch to your face and interrogating you is a very surreal experience, but of corse highly entertaining.

Its fun because in these early stages we’re able to see this as a new gimmick, an experience that its new to you much like a ride at a theme park that you’ve never been on. But what is a little concerning is when the graphics become photo realistic and VR headsets are common place in every gamers home for 24 hour use, how hard would it then become to engage back into what may be a “dull” life in comparison?  Would most not prefer the world where you’re the hero or the villain without any real consequences aside from probably gaining a few pounds and becoming a recluse.

Not to mention the young people who will be raised with this technology, where they can jump in and out of worlds where in one they are asked to contribute to society through hard work, the other they can just run around shooting, stabbing, sexually assaulting and more at will. I work with young people and I already find it hard to get them to engage in things long enough to actually learn something and thats just when I’m competing with a smart phone. How hard might it be when almost total escapism is a headset away?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of VR headsets and of corse I walked away from Sony’s event messaging all of my friends stating that I’m getting one as soon as it comes out. But I’m currently very aware of my addictive traits and would set limits to my gaming use in the future (moderation is key kids) but not all have the same self awareness or the ability to control themselves. For example an Alcoholic can’t control their addiction at all, therefore have to abstain from alcohol full stop in order to survive, but to learn that they are an alcoholic they tend to have hit a rock bottom in their life. What concerns me a little is the rock bottoms that might be hit while completely engulfed in a virtual world. And will there then be a VR Addictions Anon system in place like their should be for Facebook etc?

I am confident that most people using these headsets won’t be so careless, most will enjoy it much like they do the odd film or theatre experience. But we know that there will be more than a couple parents too busy wanting to feel like they are in a World Of Warcraft / Game Of Thrones kind of world than the one in which they are to monitor their child, change its nappy and such. Not to mention the mental health triggers that could cause serious panic attacks and more in horror games.

I mean, to be fair these things are already common place. We already see the overweight adults on the bus neglecting their child in order to play Candy Crush. And the Dad’s who would rather smoke weed and play Fifa or Call Of Duty than take their little ones out to the park. The warnings are already there, just the thought of giving these people complete escapism, where they can artificially change their whole image, lifestyle, surroundings, rules and more….it scares me a little. Because these people are the parents of the future generation that we will have to trust with our lives and political choices when we’re old.

I love video games, but I’m very aware that in the past (like some readers i’m sure) they were a tool of escapism. To avoid stress, boredom or displeasure in life I would just pick up a controller and zone out to a world where my actions were gaining “rewards” and praise much easier and faster than in real life. I mean, don’t even get me started on my VR headset and porn concerns! I feel like now would be a great time to start studying marriage counselling because they are going to be raking it in with POV VR Porn.

All I will say is we're all becoming far too desensitised by media as a whole (not just video games) when you can see footage of a drone on the news gunning down real innocent lives and think "that looks just like a level in a video game" it makes you wonder, what might the consequences be for a generation that could have a problem distinguishing the difference between VR and reality?

Our brains’ reward systems are being rewired these days to want easier, faster and unrealistic fixes of achievement, entertainment, arousal and such. What might we feel entitled to (rather than earn or deserve) in reality when in the alternative artificial worlds we habitat we're encouraged to be careless gun wielding homicidal car jacking maniacs that can have sexual experiences with whoever, kill at will and obtain almost anything all by sitting on our asses?

GTA-Rich

I don’t know the answer, but i’m sure we can “Just google it” one day.

Shout out to Offworld and FeministFrequency for bringing social awareness to gaming.

HT_best_sprout_jef_141028_16x9_992This is an interesting one. We've not seen something quite different in the computer field since Google started their laptop collaborations but this 'Sprout' (what's with the food names guys?) is pretty different.

Great no doubt for designers and creatives (though not those on the go) the Sprout offers a strange but wonderful combination of projection, 3D scanning, and a desktop computer enabling it to do some pretty crazy things.

Watch the video -

Playstations for £19.00Today, PlayStation® opened the doors to the PlayStation ’94 Shop in Bethnal Green to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Following a series of cryptic clues posted from the PlayStation UK social channels regarding the once-in-a-lifetime console offer, dedicated PlayStation fans from up and down the country came out in their hundreds to be in with a chance of owning one of the limited edition consoles and to take a nostalgic trip through PlayStation history.

Unveiled last week, the PS4™ 20th Anniversary Edition is highly collectable, with only 12,300 units available worldwide. The special console features the same iconic ‘Original Grey’ finish as the original PlayStation and comes packaged in a commemorative box.

In a secret day-one offer aimed at rewarding the PlayStation Players, 94 lucky fans were able to purchase the ultra-rare console for just £19.94 at the pop-up shop if they arrived with a piece of PlayStation memorabilia and a secret password revealed on YouTube: “I crashed my bandicoot”.

unnamed-1Designed to celebrate the landmark two decade milestone since the original PlayStation was launched in Japan in December 1994, the PlayStation ’94 Shop has been faithfully recreated in the style of an independent video game store from the era. It is also home to a vast array of iconic memorabilia from throughout PlayStation’s 20year history, including the original PocketStation and imported Japanese games. Fans will also have the chance to purchase special merchandise such as t-shirts, bags and Christmas jumpers.

The shop will remain open until Friday 12th December, with the queue for the remaining 50 consoles available to buy on Thursday and Friday for the full RRP of £399 already full. All proceeds from the sales of the console across the three days will be donated to the GamesAid charity.

David Stockley from Woolwich was the first person in the queue to buy the PlayStation 4 20th Anniversary Edition console in the UK, and showed incredible levels of dedication by queueing from 7pm on Tuesday evening. David said “I’ve been a huge PlayStation fan since the first console came out in 1994 and have been desperate to get my hands on one of the anniversary PS4s after it was revealed last week. When I saw the videos on PlayStation’s YouTube channel last night, I ran here straight from work to be front of the queue. It’s been a long, cold night, but knowing I’m one of only 12,300 people that will own this piece of PlayStation history makes it all worth it – and the fact it only cost me £19.94 is the cherry on top of the cake!”  

Jonathan Ross, who opened the door to the gamers at 11am said: “I was so excited to be able to walk back in time and relive the past twenty years of Sony gaming. It was fun, it was exciting and more than a little emotional.”

 

Fergal Gara, Managing Director and Vice President, Sony Computer Entertainment UK & Ireland comments: “It was Black Friday earlier this month and it seems that today is ‘Original Grey Wednesday’, with excitement hitting fever pitch as gamers were able to get their hands on the PlayStation 4 20th Anniversary Edition for the unbelievable price of £19.94. We’re so thankful to all the fans that have supported us over the past 20 years, we’re really pleased to be able to share this milestone with them and I couldn’t think of a better way to show that PlayStation is truly for the players.”

 

In addition to the PS4 20th Anniversary Edition consoles already snapped up by queuing fans, gamers will also have the chance to purchase the highly sought-after console exclusively through a suitably PlayStation route – where players have to prove their PlayStation credentials to be able to buy from GAME.co.uk from Monday 15th December. Keep your mince pies glued to PlayStation social media channels for more information and opportunities to get your hands on this exclusive PS4 20th Anniversary edition.

 

For more information on the PlayStation ’94 Shop, open until Friday 12th December, please visit PlayStation UK’s social channels.

makerscafe-3d-printing-cafe-london3D printing just got exciting. No longer just the foray of gimmicky press launches or expensive printing materials and 3D designers, now you can have a coffee and get something printed in 3D which you wait.

Of course the cafe is in Shoreditch - where else would it be silly? It caters to anyone with an interest in 3D allowing you to chat to and meet others interested in the 3D printing phenomenon

The cafe is called MakersCafe and it was founded by Soner Ozenc, the product designer and engineer who masterminded RazorLabs in 2006.

Ozenc explained in an interview with International Business Times, 'At the moment, people keep seeing these new technologies but there isn't much going on, on the street, or a place where they can actually touch the samples.'

The Facebook Page goest to further cement this describing the place at 'Half Makerspace (laser cutting, 3D printing), half Cafe (kick-ass barista style coffee),' where interested creatives will have a chance to see the actual machines. And 'the idea is they will come with their ideas and will witness their ideas becoming physical objects.'

If you are just starting out on your 3D printing journey then this is the place to come, they can offer help, advice and feedback:

'We are open to anything from any amateur levels to professionals, and are happy to be consulted to help and make these drawings ready for printing.'

Turn up with files created on software like Solidworks, Rhino or Google Sketch Up or simply bring a sketch. These can then be converted to digital files and realized with either 3D printers or laser cutters.

Customers are charged by the minute for both the 3D printing and the laser cutting, instead of having to pay for the materials used or have a subscription. Current rates are starting at just £1 per minute. 

retro-games

Do you love retro games and are you in bits at the news of the Trocadero closure? Well fear not, at this retro gaming event you will be able to vote for the games YOU want to play! With a game library of 450 games across the NES, SNES, Megadrive, Mega CD, Saturn and N64 chances are you'll find just what you want and quite a lot more!

There's also the chance to try something new - come on now - we can't all live in the past forever - the hottest Indie development talent will be bringing down a selection of the freshest multiplayer independent games around! You can try your hand at Nidhogg, Turnover, Spear Arena, Warp Ball & Vectagon!

The Pickle Factory in Bethnal Green are providing a complete evening of entertainment, incase you need any extra while playing all these games. From Bar to DJ’s to Retro/Indie games, everything has been put in place to make this an awesome event.

There is also -

  • Fully stocked bar offering Beer, Spirits and Wine
  • Beautiful Bang & Olufsen CRT TVs | Projectors | Kicking sound system
  • Meet (and defeat) like minded people. Gamers are awesome!
  • Brand spanking new indie games
  • DJ sets from SUPER SCRATCH BROS. - MY PANDA SHALL FLY - STEVE

31st May - Limited early bird tickets are available at £8 | Advance tickets £10 | On the door £15.