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"Write something worth reading or do something worth writing" A blog by Amy Willis, a multimedia journalist based in London

Battle of the game consoles

When the Nintendo Wii came out it revolutionalised the gaming world. It showed us computer interaction like we had never seen before. Nintendo sales went through the roof as other consoles simply were not the same. That is until now.

Presenting a new entry into the battle of the game consoles… the Xbox Project Natal – a body, face, voice recognition add-on for the Xbox 360. And it looks INCREDIBLE – no joysticks, game pads or controllers, just your body, your voice and the TV. And not only that but it is not just for computer games. It is also a DVD player and video telephone system. This is not just the future of gaming but the future of human interaction with technology.

Think telling your DVD to pause rather than getting up to press a button and think using your TV to make a quick call to your friends without having to hold a telephone to your ear. Project Natal is so revolutionary, it has even got Steven Spielberg on the edge of his seat in anticipation. And well, let’s face it, if the technology is good enough for Spielberg it must be good enough for us mere mortals.

Project Natal was announced at this year’s Microsoft E3 conference and is being developed at the moment. There is no release date yet but watch this space.


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Virtual reality – becoming too real?

After reading this week about the theft of billions of virtual cash from the space game EVE Online, it seems even virtual reality cannot escape fraud, theft and the recession. How ironic.  Games pitched as the perfect mental escape from reality now being infiltrated by the things people try to escape from.

A player known as Ricdic who was chief of Ebank- now known to be a 27-year-old Australian man- stole £200billion virtual kredits and traded them for real money to pay for medical bills and a deposit on a house. When gamers heard of the theft they all rushed to remove their kredits – sound familiar?

ebankdollardanat425 Ricdic has now been booted out of the game for breaching terms and conditions stipulating that virtual cash cannot be traded for real money.

But CCP, the Icelandic owners of EBank, seem to be emerging as the real winners. They have done well recently as more people choose to stay in instead of spending precious pennies going out. And this extra bit of publicity from virtual cash thefts certainly won’t damage things.

It does however raise a few questions about the future of online gaming if the line between reality and virtual reality continues to blur. And if stealing virtual cash has a real life impact does this mean there is cause to introduce virtual police and virtual laws? A scary thought.

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