Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
Will Virtual Reality Impact Tourism?
Visiting foreign countries can truly change peoples lives. Whether its rural folk seeing thriving metropolises or hot climate citizens witnessing snow for the first time, being in a new environment can take your breath away. The use of graphics in gaming has skyrocketed. From the revolution of Pong 40 years ago, blades of grass and drops of rain have become routine for triple AAA titles. If we can imagine the difference in graphics rendering in 40 years, will a $100-$200 VR headset rival the thousands we spend on flights and accomodation overseas? If we could graphically render a building twice as tall as the Eiffel Tower, why go see the Eiffel Tower? Could virtual reality be a substitute, or threat, to global tourism?
Expanded Literature Universes: Adding Depth or Justifying Exploitation?
*POTENTIAL SPOILERS* In the wake of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, one of the main negative points that critiques emphasize is the lack of narrative fulfillment. Many plot-arcs and burning questions were either left unanswered or unexplained, priming Disney to release other forms of media, comic books or novel series’, to fill the gaps in the film. There is precedent for this technique in the gaming community, with Gears of War 3 introducing characters who were fan-favourites from comic book series’ and Destiny including plot-relevant lore to be explored outside of the game and on the game’s website. Will this present a negative impact on the way stories are told on different mediums? Are the release of expanded works intended to deepen our appreciation for a universe, or exploitation tactics by greedy content creators? Does exploring different characters and story-lines add depth to a franchise, or allow it to short-cut the narrative process?
Will Always-Online Games Detriment Gamers?
Modern console’s use of the internet in gaming has allowed some games to only be allowed to be played online. One example, is the incredibly popular For Honor, a hack and slash phenomenom. As popular as this game is, what is to stop Ubisoft from shutting off the servers if a sequel is announced, to force gamers to purchase the sequel? Many classic games suffer from eventual server closing, EA’s underrated Lord of the Rings: Conquest is an example. Are gaming developers giving themselves too much power over consumers by forcing games to be mandatorily online?
Is Learning Another Language a Waste of Time?
Some say that being able to speak another language allows you to process your native language better and increases memory. Others say that the existence of translators already, and the rise of artificial translators are making this knowledge redundant. Some that learning another language is a trivial hobby unless you intend to live in the country of the language they speak. Is it worth the time and brainpower? Should some languages be prioritized over others? What is the worth of a second language?