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Video Games Influencing Real World Technology?

It's late and I just finished up a two hour session of Secret of Mana, but wanted to shift gears and briefly mention two items I saw in the news over the past week I thought were fairly noteworthy. They're both similar in that they are both high tech systems used in real world applications, but in both instances they seem to borrow heavily from the video game industry. Of course this isn't an entirely new phenomenon, but these two cases just so happen to be noteworthy because they're pretty neat.

Fans of Call of Duty (or shooters in general) might appreciate this first example. And while admitting you play "violent video games" like Call of Duty and have an interest in firearms can get you labeled as a danger to society by many  in mainstream society (and maybe even put on the NSA's watch list), I know there are many of us who engage in both hobbies and will find this to be an amazing weapon system, not unlike some of the fancy gear we've seen and used in our games.

Even though I've been out of the military for the better part of six months, I still tend to read a lot of news and stories about it. When I saw the headline, "U.S. military begins testing smart' rifles", I had to check it out. Smart weapons are nothing new in the real world and in video games. The fact the military is field testing them is forward progress. And the original Ghost Recon video game and many of its successors depended heavily on "smart weapon" technology.

The company mentioned in the article is named TrackingPoint Inc. and they make a weapon system that essentially allows you to mark a target in your scope, and then when you are lined up on the target, the reticle turns red and you pull the trigger. Sounds simple, but when you consider how novice and inexperienced shooters are hitting targets at a 1,000 yards, you quickly realize how powerful the optics on this weapon really are.

With only a few minutes of instruction on the weapon, this correspondent was able to hit a target almost 1,000 yards away on the first shot. Of the 70 or so reporters and other novice shooters who tested the weapon on Monday at a range in Boulder City, Nev., only one or two missed the target, which was located about 980 yards away. (Read the full article here)

What really caught my attention was a quote by one of the marketing representatives...

Well, either both will be banned, or maybe...hopefully...we might continue to witness the evolution of both industries, and who knows, maybe even more initiatives combining games and firearm technology.

No doubt if you've played any of the current military shooters, you've seen similar arrangements in targeting systems in the games you've played. There was a feature nearly identical to this in one of the early Ghost Recon games that allowed you to mark targets that showed up in your scope. And we're quite familiar with hit markers and reticles changing colors when the shot is lined up.

Pretty neat.

Now in a completely different direction and genre, have you seen the images of the performance data recorder on the new 2015 Corvettes? Can you say "racing simulator inspired".

Cosworth's recently announced Performance Data Recorder for the Corvette Stingray, which draws motorsport experience from IndyCar and over a decade of Corvette Racing, is a far cry from Chevy Vegas (but not Las Vegas). It is also the closest interpretation to video gaming yet, a succinct reflection of life imitating art.) (Read the full article at Autoweek here.)

The last time I saw footage like this I was playing Forza 5. Tell me that screen overlay and the fact you can record yourself driving isn't strikingly similar to a video game.

I'm just waiting for the day we can get some light cycles similar to those found in Tron or perhaps a dog like Alyx Vance's giant pet robot from Half-Life. Until then, I hope the engineers and techies just keep on copying our video game technology, and remember where they saw it first.

Y'all have a good night. Guess what day it is?

Cheers.

 

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