Sunday, October 14, 2007

Second Life to help those with first life problems

Undoubtedly, Massive Multiplayer Online games (MMOs) may be the best near term social outlet for people with the most dire need for BCIs. In a way, Second Life could become a locked-in patient's "first life", opening the doors to communication in a simulated world where interaction can occur without the need for visible assistive devices. Hell, there are millions of able-bodied folks that do the same.

Story on Mind Hacks and Physorg.

In related news, one big drawback is the variability in interoperability of these virtual worlds is being locked into a single version of a single game. Assistive techs shouldn't worry about whether a game studio goes belly up. While this wasn't the thought process behind this major announcement, a consortium of major tech companies like Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Intel, Google and Sony are working on making virtual worlds more standardized. Wanna use World of Warcraft Gold to buy a costume upgrade in City of Heroes? Sure! Better yet, the immaterial progress and achievements in a game don't simply disappear when the content dries up.

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