STEM, Matrix and VR

To accompany my previous post about The Evil Within 2.  I decided to delve deeper into the main theme of the game:  Virtual Reality.  Since the movie The Matrix, the thought of virtual world went mainstream.  To think that a person’s consciousness can be placed into a virtual world as real as the one you and I live in right now, truly gets us to think about our OWN reality.

The STEM system.

In The Evil Within series, that same idea of a virtual world is represented by a fictional machine known as STEM.  In short, the machine uses targeted areas of the brain in order to create a virtual world where all those participating will share a consciousness together.  Imagine a world that doesn’t have disease and that happiness can be made without even physically moving a muscle, this is STEM.  However, in the game’s story the virtual world that was viewed as a utopia, only ends up becoming a living nightmare.

https://i0.wp.com/gameranx.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/the-evil-within-1.jpg

But I’m not here to write about the plot of the game, but to further analyze the virtual world from the real and fictional perspective.  After watching an episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” called “PTSDee”.  (Which was recommended from my wife, Louie.  See the 2 clips below.)  I began to think about what kind of true dangers lie in store for us, as virtual and alternate realities continue to advance in our everyday lives.

Lol, okay I know Always Sunny isn’t greatest example to bring up a serious discussion of the negative aspects of what can come from VR and AR.  But you have to admit, eventually the technology may get THAT GOOD!  (or BAD)  The Evil Within 2 addresses this in the worse case scenario.  Hundreds of people that are currently hooked up to the STEM system suddenly begin to die off and once the story goes into play; all hell breaks loose.  Everyone inside the STEM system either transforms, gets killed or hunted by their own shared virtual consciousness.

Knowing that a machine could either transport you into a paradise or a life as a vegetable, is horrifying.  Like this and The Matrix, if you die inside, you’re toast in the real world.  Add along the potential that any traumatic experience you see or experience in those worlds could affect you in the flesh.  Look at it this way, in games we die and retry until we overcome and succeed.  Now imagine yourself feeling REAL PAIN and DEATH.  Would we be the same?  If it got that bad, would we push on and continue using the technology?

Hell, there are a ton of questions that we can ask here.  That’s why I’ll leave it up for discussion.  Leave any comments below.

-Racoon Daddy

 

First Aid?! – Resident Evil 7 Madhouse run

I’m officially Resident Evil 7’d out! A couple days ago, I finished Madhouse difficulty, (which almost gave early male pattern baldness from all the hair I was pulling out) and a NO HEALING ITEM AND INVENTORY BOX run! (Which was done on easy, yet still a head-scratcher considering there is a part where I had to use ALMOST NO ITEMS!!)

After going through the game three times, I’m done. I can’t play it ANYMORE!!!  Ultimately, here is my final take on Resident Evil 7 outside of what I’ve already said before.

Very much like a roller-coaster ride; the first time is scary as hell, next time your ready for it but it’s still a thrill. But once you’ve ridden the ride a few times it gets boring. Resident Evil 7 is a GREAT title and I’d highly encourage you play it! HOWEVER, the game is a ONE TRICK PONY without the additional content, as many of the scene ARE SCRIPTED and the ones that change are simply there to throw you off.

RE7 kind of reminds me of playing Metroid Prime, once you beat it and find everything, there isn’t anything new. Perhaps that’s how games should be!! Yet this feeling inside me is saying, WHY THE DLC!!!! Honestly, some games NEED TO HAVE CONTENT ADDED! But with Resident Evil 7, IT DOESN’T NEED IT! Sure, the die-hard RE fans like myself will be slobbering over what happens to Redfield in the upcoming “Not a Hero” DLC. (AKA HUNK?/ACTUALLY CHRIS REDFIELD) But leaving us out on additional story material from the MAIN GAME is just plain unfair. Honestly, shelling out $30 dollars, (which is HALF of the retail game price) for the Mercenaries/Horde mode and BANNED FOOTAGE is BULLSHIT! It really is. Honesetly, if anything, the “Not a Hero” should be paid as, it’ll probably be an entirely different feel to the main title experience.

With that said, I was pleased with the challenge Madhouse difficulty brought. But I have one more thing I’ve realized about myself as a gamer. I’M NOT A MASOCHIST!! What that means, is that I don’t truly enjoy most games that PUNISH you is death after death x 10 to the 23rd power! A perfect example of this is Dead Space, which pretty much is already a hard as shit game. But on the highest difficulty, one hit and you’re dead, almost always!
This is probably why, I’ve not gotten into the Dark Souls games or continued to play “Let It Die” after the second boss. (Although, it may be because it’s a rigged free-to-play game. That’s just my opinion.)

YEP, NOT SIPPIN’ THAT DUDE’S KOOL AID!  SICKO!

Honestly, I DON’T MIND a serious challenge!! But unless I’m truly enjoying the reward of moving forward and beating it on the highest level. (Like in the case of me finishing Metal Gear Solid 2 on EXTREME!) Then it’ll now be a resounding HELL NO! I don’t need the platinum or 100% achievement, E-penis to gloat about. I’ll take my hours and use them on what important my life and my family time!!!

No disrespect to the the gamers out there that are 100% completionist and always play on the HARDEST levels. But I just never had the patience and yesterday I truly realized that.

Dabbling into Virtual Reality!

Three weeks ago, I got a gift card to Target and I intended to use it to buy some new clothes.  But the inner geek inside me couldn’t help to avoid the oncoming VR (virtual reality craze!  Once I finished doing some research, I’d realized that Google had released some cheap-ass vr headsets call Cardboard.  Which are literally……

CARDBOARD.

Which is NOT what I wanted.  So I looked up Target’s page and they had a pair that were sturdier.

This is an example of the one I bought, which ended up being 50 bucks.

When I got it, it seemed pretty simple, open up the front once I found a supported VR game, app or video and pop my phone in!  It was, but after about a few hours playing with the apps, the charm of 360 immersion wore off.

Videos were cool, as many of the good ones feature a 360 view where you can feel like you’re actually there.  This was especially cool using Google’s Street View, which lets you explore anywhere on the globe in full view.  But that gets old after a while.  Viewing was also bothersome after a half hour and many times I HAD TO TAKE BREAKS!!  

 

The games and apps seemed SUPER COOL, but my headset had fairly limited functionality, unlike the fancier Samsung, HTC, Oculous and Sony versions.  Having a controller was pretty mandatory, which I kind of wish VR breaks AWAY from the controller.  (I mean, isn’t that kind of the point of the virtual experience?!)

JUST NOT LIKE THIS!  (Wow!  I can’t believe I remember this movie!) – Stephen King’s Lawnmower Man

I know I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but I have a feeling that VR STILL HAS A LONG WAY TO GO!  The more expensive rigs will give users a WAYYY better experience than I had and I’m in no way trying to discourage you guys to try out the headsets for yourself.   As a matter of fact, dip your toes in the pool and test the waters yourself and I hope you enjoy the swim

Just bring along a spear gun, just in case!

 

 

 

Title Image Credit