Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Synthespians & Ractors

Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Ren Reynolds over at Terra Nova has an interesting piece on 'Synthespians' which has provoked some discussion as to the cost and practicality of using real human 'actors' or, indeed, amateurs, to voice and control game characters in realtime. While the discussion as to ecomomics provides reason to doubt that MMPORGs will have realistic actor-based game characters (other than other game players) any time soon, I was reminded of Neil Stephenson's The Diamond Age in which the most expensive and elite games and virtual experiences (since you couldn't quite call the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer a game, more an edu-simulation) feature 'ractors' who are 'real actors' behind virtual charcters. Stephenson creates a divide between the more elite/expensive games (or virtual experiences) and more run-of-the-mill games which only have algorithm based characters. From the sounds of things, this might be a relatively accurate portrayal of the near future of gaming ...

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