Check out this really quite amazing use of the Wii-mote – actually 8 of them – done by an electronic musician, Tom Tlalim. There’s a youtube video of him using it at the bottom of that post.
I think we tend to get excited as the images of a game get more realistic and as our movements and gestures are more readily translated to what we want from an aspect of technology. Much of my work with synthesizers has been to customize the interface so that natural movements can be translated from velocity and pressure to differing volumes, cutoffs, and other characteristics of sound.
Where things seem to be heading in society’s use of technology is towards a perceived elimination of interface. (My new hobby is coining terms – let’s see if one sticks. 🙂 ):
As we see the virtual worlds and technologies – cell phones, ipods and otherwise – become more readily used, it is not because they look slicker, somehow. It is that the distance between the impulse or will of mind and action are decreased. We can access a song or create a playlist more readily, for example.
We are constantly in attempts to shorten the process, perhaps with the unconscious wish of instantaneous translation of will to action. We are, in effect, working towards making the interface invisible.
Other bits of news:
Here’s a page-long autobiography of a person recently diagnosed with Asperger’s. Something of a spoiler, but I can’t resist quoting the end:
“… Don’t pity me or try to cure or change me. If you could live in my head for just one day, you might weep at how much beauty I perceive in the world with my exquisite senses. I would not trade one small bit of that beauty, as overwhelming and powerful as it can be, for ‘normalcy.'”
Dusan Writer notes a teacher using Second Life to teach class:
According to Dr. Gerard Lucas, “Second Life allows us to look at issues like identity, identity building, gender, sexuality and race. It brings all these ideas to the forefront in a way that students can engag…”
It’s not so much that the virtual worlds are someplace else. It is that they provide additional modality to conduct one’s life. Though I will often use the moniker RL – standing for “real life” we never leave real life to enter a “virtual” world. Along those very same lines, “virtual” does not quite describe the MMO worlds, either. But, these are the words we are stuck with until others evolve.