Virtual Violence Revisited

The NFL is talking to videogame producers to ensure that violence in the virtual stadium isn't tarnishing the league's image. The whole thing is laughable, given that violence is what makes the NFL so popular to begin with. Violence has always been a part of sport — the question that needs to be asked is whether it provides an outlet for aggression in society, or whether it creates that aggression.

(Update: ESPN.com has a humourous laundry list of discrepencies between "virtual" football and what really happens in the NFL game.)

(Dash of irony? ESPN.com's story on Julius Peppers' suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy featured a Flash pop-up ad for Sega Sports' NFL 2K3 videogame.)

I'm Envisioning Virtual Ali…

Politics and virtual civil disobedience in the online gaming world.

Feeling a Sporty Vibe

game girl advance discusses a more organic game interface. While I doubt the same application will ever be seen in an NFL videogame (I hope), the same basic principle will apply: what interface will make the gaming experience more immersive, and in the case of virtual sport, more realistic?

Elsewhere, the gga weblog reports on the Russian domination of first-person shooter games at the 2002 World Cyber Games, which are rapidly becoming more of a "spectator sport".

He is Sci Fi

Tony Hawk combines sport and virtual reality in a neat video.

Courtesy of Adobe Systems Inc.

The Wormhole Explained (or The Mathematics of Being)

When traversing the portal into the star athlete's body via virtual reality technologies, there are certain biophysical limitations that must be overcome by the interface. For example, a definite limitation that would need to be overcome in a basketball player is vertical leap. These limitations must be mapped by a complex series of measurements that translate the home athlete to the virtually (re)created one.

"I'm Morpheus in this hip hop Matrix … exposing fake shit." — Common, The 6th Sense

The Matrix features a world of enhanced or amplified reflexes in its rendition of cyberspace, termed Bullet Time. However, these amplified reflexes really are just one space-time frame of reference mapped onto another. Suppose that the athlete at home was capable of jumping 22 inches, which took 0.6 seconds. For the athlete to execute this jump in virtual space in the body of an NBA player, they must visually and kinaesthetically complete perhaps a 42-inch, 0.9-second jump during this shorter 0.6 timeframe. The unique set of equations required for each home athlete to map onto the (ideal) professional athlete is the essence of the wormhole.

Can a human being be captured in a set of equations?

A Preliminary Typology of Sport Prosumerism

Type of Prosumerism Example Primary Motivation of Prosumer Degree of Self-Actualization Strategic Importance to Firm
one-to-one Nike customized product medium medium
(one of) many-to-many ESPN.com agenda setting, group affiliation low low
one-to-many Oakland A's peer recognition high high