Author Archives: AC Powers

How Close Are We To Total Gaming Immersion?

I want a holodeck.  I’ve always wanted to experience my favorite games as vividly as real life.  Whether casting deadly spells or piloting a space fighter I want to feel the crackle of spell power in my hands or the boosters ignite as I race through an asteroid field.

Ready PBut how close are we really to something like Ready Player One (if you have not already you must read through this satisfying tale of futuristic game immersion and homage to vintage gaming…seriously buy the kindle version now…I can wait).

What may have you hesitating to get too excited is the slow and painfully absent progress of new age Virtual Reality (VR). But there is hope my fellow gamers.  The convergence of several promising projects, a few of which have big backing, bring us closer than ever to the event horizon – the moment we reach the possibility of fully living in the dreams of our own creation. Continue reading

When Does the End Justify the Means?

We often sit in awe of the miracles of modern medicine. We have managed over the last few centuries to dramatically decrease the mortality rate and increase peoples’ lifespans. The question we often don’t ask is what did it take to get to this point? When do the ends (medicinal cures or vaccines) justify the means?

The-Wicked-Witchs-Potion-3x12-New-York-City-Serenade

I recently started thinking about these questions while reading the series Maze Runner (SPOILER ALERT). I also watch a show called Dark Matters on the Science Channel that often highlights the tension between morality and scientific discovery. Instead of simply talking about the ethics of scientific discovery, I will use two stories, one fiction (Maze Runner) and one non-fiction (Dark Matters), to explore the boundaries between ethics and advancements in science. Continue reading

Video Games Don’t Kill People

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Stories about violent video games have filled the pontificating meat flaps of the media and politicians when discussing what caused such terrible events as Sandy Hook or the DC Navy Yard.  This amounts to blaming the symptom and not the disease, a false IF-THEN statement used to heavily suggest that if you play violent video games you’re destined to be a danger to society.  The only cure – get rid of violent video games. Continue reading

Geeks Without Borders

Robotic Hands Pointing at Virtual Globe

Recently, we walked down a street and were drawn into a store with tons of video games and geeky accouterments — Yoda mugs, Big Bang Theory t-shirts, Borderlands miniatures. Nothing particularly surprising or new about this, except its location – Vienna, Austria. Besides some German words here and there, it looked exactly like the geeky video game stores my husband loves to go to in the United States, equipped with a group of three geeky looking young guys standing around talking about the tv show Breaking Bad.

This shouldn’t be that surprising considering that most of the geeky board games I like to play come from German game companies, but I continue to be amazed at how much geeks have in common regardless of what country they are in. Maybe if everyone was a geek, we really could have world peace! Continue reading

What if Teachers Approached Their Jobs as Game Masters?

I know some will start reading this article and think “blasphemous,” Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) has no place in the classroom (and for some, even the home). But I ask you to hear me out. I, myself, am a newbie to Dungeons and Dragons and started off skeptical of really enjoying it, let alone seeing any benefit to it outside of becoming more nerdy than I already am. (Or is it geeky – I still haven’t quite got the distinctions down.)

   Dungeon Master Shirt

Continue reading