How we know what is real?!

25 Mar

With this week’s readings being all about virtual and augmented realities, how could I not be excited for the week to come?!

However I must admit some of this excitement is partially due to the fact that I assume that the following week of class will somehow involve some sort of opportunity in playing a virtual reality game…which after the readings, I know is probably not going to happen, considering the pieces of equipment discussed are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So anyway back to the readings. Over the past 2 years previous courses have touched on this aspect of virtual realities, with games utilizing real time and people as well as real time society combined with electronic information specific to the game, as well as virtual realities created online, acting a as alternate online worlds. The readings this week have however explored a more technical and further progressive stance in technology and an augmented reality.


Picture Courtesy of Flickr of William Cromar 2010
If only virtual realities were all fun and games...

In Chris Grayson’s blog he uses a number of contemporary examples in companies utilizing methods in which products or services a virtually shown/placed/ positioned for the viewer/customers approval and inspection. Although many of the examples he refers to are quiet impressive for eg the motor industry and its use of augmented reality in showing consumers the car appearing to be 3D and positioned on top of the magazine/paper (Grayson 2009).

Despite how impressive these methods may seem, there has been little evidence of mass adoption of such methods, which indeed is understandable considering companies are still trying to transfer themselves smoothly to the social networking platform. I think the problem with such tactics as a marketing tool, is first of all the costs, and second of all the consumers’ willingness to adopt such a stance, as it is not simply not an advertisement anymore but a step forward into a whole new complex social system; overstepping the social networking/web 2.0 world.

Upon watching the videos prescribed for the week…particularly the IDEO labs- Amazing 3D immersion (YouTube 2010) I was entertained by the idea that the internet combined with social networking, is only the tip of the iceberg. Virtual worlds, education, advancements in sciences and so much more can be achieved by such a notion.

In another interesting article I read in regards to the notion of ‘soft-controlling’, where players of a virtual/augmented game are directed by a 3rd party to a place or location they desire; in the case of the game Ghost Hunter, this means photographing places (or zapping ‘ghosts’) less visited by people or Flickr users (Science Daily 2012). See more here.


–          Grayson, Chris 2009, ‘Augmented Reality Overview’, GigantiCo <>


–          Science Daily, March 16th 2012, Using Virtual Worlds to ‘Soft Control’ People’s Movements in the Real One, Science Daily, accessed 22/03/2012, <>


–          YouTube, 5 July 2010, IDEO Labs – Amazing 3D Immersion Technology,, <>


– Picture (virtual_reality) from Flickr courtesy William Cromar 2010


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