Holograms You Can Touch And Feel - Computer Games of the Future

When I was younger, I dreamed of being a professional baseball player, even though I was never that good at baseball. I never had anyone to practice throwing the ball with and never made much of an effort to look for someone to work with me. Instead, I stayed inside and played baseball video games. I got very into pitching and thought that I just needed to practice my motion to get better. I watched Tim Lincecum, who used leverage to generate velocity and thought I could emulate him. I took a Koosh ball and started throwing it towards a pillow strike zone as practice. This was okay, but the basement ceilings were not high enough for practice and I had to drop my arm angle to adjust. This affected the accuracy and I sent a few wild Koosh tosses. I would like to say one time, but two times, I threw the ball and hit a picture on the wall, breaking the glass frame. The first time, I acted like nothing happened and nobody noticed for over a week. I had to own it after the second time. I stopped throwing in the house and my mind would drift to fantasies about a simulated version where I could live in a virtual reality simulation to learn baseball. I was convinced that there would be a day where baseball is learned in a virtual setting.

We are still scratching the surface when it comes to VR in video games. There is an episode of Black Mirror where Anthony Mackie plays a futuristic game console that is worn like an earpiece and transports your brain into the game. You are in the body of the character. This might be the stuff I fantasized about when I was breaking pictures, but it will be the reality some day.

One of the moments where holograms felt like they were coming to life was when Pokemon Go was released. Most people were still dreaming about the Oculus Rift and VR competitors, but AR was waiting in the wings. AR, which stands for augmented reality, is a way to bring the virtual world into our reality instead of taking you and inserting you into the virtual world like in VR. People were stunned to see Pokemon on screen in the real world and the app became one of the biggest ever.

In fact, the idea that video games could be used for simulation and practice is not that out of left field. The military has used shooting games in the past to simulate tactical scenarios and practice in a no stakes situation before taking things out to the real world. I looked at golf, which has a VR thing where you drive the ball at a screen and it picks up the force and translates it into the simulated drive. It is not like the real thing, but it allows you to golf on a cruise ship, which might be the thing that VR video games bring best. When you have limited space and limited ability to get out, the VR headset goes on and you are in another world entirely.