A Vectoral Way Station

I have mentioned earlier that the sports videogame, constructed from the very real performances of professional athletes, is currently consumed or experienced as a 3-D experience via the 2-D screen, but only because commercially viable 3-D output devices do not exist yet. My conjecture was that such a 3-D output device would go one of two directions: either holograms, in which one (God-like) moves the players around the playing surface, as if moving pieces on a chess board; or virtual reality, in which one actually enters the space of the game via VR optics and haptic technology.

While this will be a welcome innovation for sports games manufactured after the technology has matured (and thus capable of producing data flows compatible with the new format), it does little for leveraging the value of existing libraries of games. The NBA, for example, has thousands of hours of television programming from decades of games in its library, all of which means very little once the consumption experience migrates from 2-D to 3-D. Thus the need to up-convert the legacy footage so as to wrest from it further surplus value.

We recall a passage from Wark: "The storage of information may be as valuable as its transmission, and the archive is a vector through time just as telesthesia is a vector through space. The whole potential of space and time becomes the object of the vectoral class."

With that in mind, ESPN's Bill Simmons offers us this tidbit from the NBA's Technology Summit, held during the recent All-Star Weekend events:

I was brought into a special room, handed some 3D glasses and had to watch a couple minutes of an old Suns-Lakers playoff game in 3D/HDTV. I've never been more freaked out by a sporting event in my life — it was cool, it was insane, it was surreal and, after about two minutes, I thought I was going cross-eyed. I'm extremely intrigued to see what happens if the kinks are worked out for this one.

Old video-image becomes simulated 3-D output. Consider this a potential way station for the vector-through-time on its trajectory between the screen and the space.


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