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Former Valve VR Contractor Explains Why “VR Is Bad News”

ElRenmazuoElRenmazuo Alexandria, VAPosts: 4,555Member Uncommon

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/former-valve-vr-contractor-explains-why-vr-is-bad-/1100-6421089/

Fabian Giesen, a Valve contractor who contributed to Valve’s VR room project, has explained his statement that made the rounds recently that “VR is bad news.”

“[VR] seems to be fundamentally anti-social, completing the sad trajectory of entertainment moving further and further away from shared social experiences,” Giesen said in a letter to a colleague at the time.

Giesen admits that he’s not a fan of online gaming in general, and thinks “VR is bad news” since it’s currently focused on creating a “gateway to the ultimate MMORPG,” which offers only basic social interaction (compared to in-person interaction).

“Imagine a shared universe MMORPG, expressly operated by a company that *already knows all your friends*, that's trying to maximize your engagement (‘hey, all your friends are playing right now, don't you want to join too?’), selling your attention to advertisers, and by the way, also building a detailed profile on everything you do so they can do all of this even better in the future. It's okay, go on doing whatever you want, we just want to watch! (Through your own eyeballs if possible).”

 

 

I didnt even know Valve was working on their own VR.  This is no problem for me since I play video games alone most of the time anyway.  People play single player games alone all the time and mmos too, I dont think VR will make gaming any more or less social.  If you only like to play games that are meant for social thats good for you, but VR is a great for those of us who's already been playing games alone, and that doesnt mean we are anti-social because when im not playing games, im doing social things.

 

Comments

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member

    ok reading the clips you  got there I am left really confused.

    1.  'anti-social' is different from un-social. anti-social are things such as killing people, running them over with your car, beating people with sticks. sound like any game we have heard of?

    2. I am unclear how he would like to solve the un-social aspect of gaming by not embracing online gaming? what the actual fuck?

    3. honesty....who the fuck cares. I mean he suggests that non-social is bad...but he doesnt explain why. its just assumed its bad when to be frank I have found many competing reasons to disagree with that assumption.

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • Brabbit1987Brabbit1987 Ontario, CanadaPosts: 729Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ElRenmazuo

    http://www.gamespot.com/articles/former-valve-vr-contractor-explains-why-vr-is-bad-/1100-6421089/

    Fabian Giesen, a Valve contractor who contributed to Valve’s VR room project, has explained his statement that made the rounds recently that “VR is bad news.”

    “[VR] seems to be fundamentally anti-social, completing the sad trajectory of entertainment moving further and further away from shared social experiences,” Giesen said in a letter to a colleague at the time.

    Giesen admits that he’s not a fan of online gaming in general, and thinks “VR is bad news” since it’s currently focused on creating a “gateway to the ultimate MMORPG,” which offers only basic social interaction (compared to in-person interaction).

    “Imagine a shared universe MMORPG, expressly operated by a company that *already knows all your friends*, that's trying to maximize your engagement (‘hey, all your friends are playing right now, don't you want to join too?’), selling your attention to advertisers, and by the way, also building a detailed profile on everything you do so they can do all of this even better in the future. It's okay, go on doing whatever you want, we just want to watch! (Through your own eyeballs if possible).”

     

     

    I didnt even know Valve was working on their own VR.  This is no problem for me since I play video games alone most of the time anyway.  People play single player games alone all the time and mmos too, I dont think VR will make gaming any more or less social.  If you only like to play games that are meant for social thats good for you, but VR is a great for those of us who's already been playing games alone, and that doesnt mean we are anti-social because when im not playing games, im doing social things.

     

     

    Ya, Valve has actually worked fairly closely with the Oculus team. They even have their own prototype which is known to be the best VR experience out there currently.

     

    As for the Former Valve Contractor? To me he makes literally no sense at all. I don't see how VR is anymore unsocial than gaming in general. Just because you can't see a persons face directly when sitting next to each other, doesn't mean you can't talk to each other. I used the word directly because you would be able to see them as at least an in game avatar, assuming you are playing multi-player.

    Since when do people have to be face to face to be social? What about a phone? Is a phone unsocial? I thought any human interaction at all is considered being social. Even if it's through a device.

  • ElRenmazuoElRenmazuo Alexandria, VAPosts: 4,555Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Brabbit198

    As for the Former Valve Contractor? To me he makes literally no sense at all. I don't see how VR is anymore unsocial than gaming in general.

    Exactly

    I think the whole "un-social" thing is a poor excuse and same goes for other excuses like "injuries".  Its like how people used to complain about cell phones giving brain cancer.  If people are worried about injuries than they should stop using mouse and keyboard to play games too since there are possible injuries to gaming with those too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_keyboard

    (The use of any keyboard may cause serious injury (that is, carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive strain injury) to hands, wrists, arms, neck or back. The risks of injuries can be reduced by taking frequent short breaks to get up and walk around a couple of times every hour)

    Other than that its like saying single player games are "Bad News"

  • Brabbit1987Brabbit1987 Ontario, CanadaPosts: 729Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ElRenmazuo
    Originally posted by Brabbit198

    As for the Former Valve Contractor? To me he makes literally no sense at all. I don't see how VR is anymore unsocial than gaming in general.

    Exactly

    I think the whole "un-social" thing is a poor excuse and same goes for other excuses like "injuries".  Its like how people used to complain about cell phones giving brain cancer.  If people are worried about injuries than they should stop using mouse and keyboard to play games too since there are possible injuries to gaming with those too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_keyboard

    (The use of any keyboard may cause serious injury (that is, carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive strain injury) to hands, wrists, arms, neck or back. The risks of injuries can be reduced by taking frequent short breaks to get up and walk around a couple of times every hour)

    Other than that its like saying single player games are "Bad News"

    Well injury with a VR headset makes no sense lol. How many people get injuries from wearing glasses or snow goggles? It's not like the VR headset weighs all that much. As for moving your head around? You do that every single day in real life rofl. Your neck is meant to move. It's not going to get injured by moving like it normally already does.

     

    People are just crazy and they really don't think these things through. They come up with some stupid excuse and go with it, not realizing how stupid they sound. XD

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member
    Originally posted by SEANMCAD

    ok reading the clips you  got there I am left really confused.

    1.  'anti-social' is different from un-social. anti-social are things such as killing people, running them over with your car, beating people with sticks. sound like any game we have heard of?

    2. I am unclear how he would like to solve the un-social aspect of gaming by not embracing online gaming? what the actual fuck?

    3. honesty....who the fuck cares. I mean he suggests that non-social is bad...but he doesnt explain why. its just assumed its bad when to be frank I have found many competing reasons to disagree with that assumption.

     

    1. People know what he meant.  Yes, the proper use of the word means to actively destroy or break social connections, but the common use of the word is understood.

    2. He's not a fan of online gaming to begin with.  His point is that at our current state of technology, the weak and limited social interactions possible in online gaming are not going to be fixed by things like VR headsets.  His second point is that the goal of the people running MMORPGs isn't necessarily to fix the weak and limited social interactions.  VR just makes the isolation of playing video games more inviting.

    3. "Why" is a very large topic, and not something that can be readily explained in an email to a colleague.  The short answer is that a large chunk of your personality depends on your social interactions because you're a human, and that's how humans work.  VR takes it one step further by becoming the environment.  The environment is another large factor in human personality and behavior.  If those interactions and environments are limited and weak or overly controlled, then your personality will suffer.  Again, this is a much larger topic, but I think that's the framework for the idea.

     

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • askdabossaskdaboss LondonPosts: 631Member Common
    Originally posted by lizardbones

    2. He's not a fan of online gaming to begin with.  His point is that at our current state of technology, the weak and limited social interactions possible in online gaming are not going to be fixed by things like VR headsets.  His second point is that the goal of the people running MMORPGs isn't necessarily to fix the weak and limited social interactions.  VR just makes the isolation of playing video games more inviting.

    Thank god for Occulus Rift that combines the power of technology and social interactions (Facebook).

     

    An alternative perspective on this:

    Maybe the real world should be "blamed" for not being attractive enough to most people.

    What I mean is that you will never be able to stop private entities to be more enticing to people. This is their "raison d'etre", because they want your trust and your money. So you need to compete with them - either via laws or by using the same weapons.

     

    Laws, debts, boring 9-5 jobs with little perspectives and no creativity, lack of attractive education, etc. I can understand why some people will want to escape in alternative worlds, or alcohol/drugs.

    Now this might become a real problem the day a significant part of the population (say 10-20%) actually become accustomed to these stimuli and barely want to get involved with anything else (already happening, sort of).

    The way "Charities" (NPO) use the sales/marketing methods of Profit Organisations, and the way we see Education being reformed already with Educational games and more access to "fun" learning, perhaps other areas of our societies should keep up the pace.

    How about playing a FPS to fill your tax return?

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member
    Originally posted by lizardbones
    Originally posted by SEANMCAD

    ok reading the clips you  got there I am left really confused.

    1.  'anti-social' is different from un-social. anti-social are things such as killing people, running them over with your car, beating people with sticks. sound like any game we have heard of?

    2. I am unclear how he would like to solve the un-social aspect of gaming by not embracing online gaming? what the actual fuck?

    3. honesty....who the fuck cares. I mean he suggests that non-social is bad...but he doesnt explain why. its just assumed its bad when to be frank I have found many competing reasons to disagree with that assumption.

     

    1. People know what he meant.  Yes, the proper use of the word means to actively destroy or break social connections, but the common use of the word is understood.

    Yes and my underlining point is that game content is worse for society then the technology in question. aka, on average GTA provides less to the greater community of mankind then a VR headset does. If he is really worried about the social impact of game technology he is looking in the wrong place.

    2. He's not a fan of online gaming to begin with.  His point is that at our current state of technology, the weak and limited social interactions possible in online gaming are not going to be fixed by things like VR headsets.  His second point is that the goal of the people running MMORPGs isn't necessarily to fix the weak and limited social interactions.  VR just makes the isolation of playing video games more inviting.social

    VR does not up the un-socialness of gaming as he describes, its not like the social interaction of any game ever created is not more social then what he is suggesting oculus provides.

    3. "Why" is a very large topic, and not something that can be readily explained in an email to a colleague.  The short answer is that a large chunk of your personality depends on your social interactions because you're a human, and that's how humans work.  VR takes it one step further by becoming the environment.  The environment is another large factor in human personality and behavior.  If those interactions and environments are limited and weak or overly controlled, then your personality will suffer.  Again, this is a much larger topic, but I think that's the framework for the idea.

    well to touch on that much larger topic speaking from personal experience I am not at all impressed with social. I do not assume its as healthy as people think it is. I do think its advantages is a relic of the pre-electronic revolution however when all you had in your home was a TV and a phone

     

     

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade KingsmouthPosts: 2,642Member Uncommon

    Sounds like Valve should be glad they're rid of that guy.

    "Giesen admits that he’s not a fan of online gaming in general, and thinks “VR is bad news” since it’s currently focused on creating a “gateway to the ultimate MMORPG,” which offers only basic social interaction (compared to in-person interaction)."

    Obviously the only acceptable way of gaming to this guy is sitting in the living room with a few buddies and holding a console controller. 

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lizardbones
    Originally posted by SEANMCAD

    ok reading the clips you  got there I am left really confused.

    1.  'anti-social' is different from un-social. anti-social are things such as killing people, running them over with your car, beating people with sticks. sound like any game we have heard of?

    2. I am unclear how he would like to solve the un-social aspect of gaming by not embracing online gaming? what the actual fuck?

    3. honesty....who the fuck cares. I mean he suggests that non-social is bad...but he doesnt explain why. its just assumed its bad when to be frank I have found many competing reasons to disagree with that assumption.

     

    1. People know what he meant.  Yes, the proper use of the word means to actively destroy or break social connections, but the common use of the word is understood.

    2. He's not a fan of online gaming to begin with.  His point is that at our current state of technology, the weak and limited social interactions possible in online gaming are not going to be fixed by things like VR headsets.  His second point is that the goal of the people running MMORPGs isn't necessarily to fix the weak and limited social interactions.  VR just makes the isolation of playing video games more inviting.

    3. "Why" is a very large topic, and not something that can be readily explained in an email to a colleague.  The short answer is that a large chunk of your personality depends on your social interactions because you're a human, and that's how humans work.  VR takes it one step further by becoming the environment.  The environment is another large factor in human personality and behavior.  If those interactions and environments are limited and weak or overly controlled, then your personality will suffer.  Again, this is a much larger topic, but I think that's the framework for the idea.

     

    I get what he's saying, but I don't understand why his opinions are somehow being used to blame "VR" technology. His comments could just as well be applied to all online gaming (unless you're doing it while sitting next to someone on the couch...).

     

    Unless what he's trying to say is that VR tech will make online gaming more enjoyable for the player, and therefore attract even more people to the "anti-social" world of online gaming ?

  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade KingsmouthPosts: 2,642Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SpottyGekko

    I get what he's saying, but I don't understand why his opinions are somehow being used to blame "VR" technology. His comments could just as well be applied to all online gaming (unless you're doing it while sitting next to someone on the couch...).

     

    Unless what he's trying to say is that VR tech will make online gaming more enjoyable for the player, and therefore attract even more people to the "anti-social" world of online gaming ?

    That's what I got from his article.

    He rage quit Valve because he thinks VR is going to make everyone even more anti-social than online gaming is already doing. (since it's being used as "a gateway to the ultimate MMORPG" or however he phrased that nonsense. :P)

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

  • daisdais Nowhere, TXPosts: 95Member

    To be honest I am not even sure why his opinion matters.  I don't mean that to be mean or cynical, I just mean I wouldn't consider this person an authority on the subject being discussed.  For example consider the following snippet for a news article:

     

    "School janitor concerned about quality of education students are getting at a local elementary school.  He feels like the curriculum being presented isn't challenging and engaging enough to provided them the best possible learning environment."

     

    This is basically an article about a guy that did some contract work for Valve off and on for about a year saying he thinks VR is bad and it makes people not as social as they should be.  Well.....ok.  He is entitled to his opinion and good on him for it.  I could discuss at length why I disagree with him but the world is full of random people that don't share the same opinions as me and it's an exercise in futility trying to debate each one.

  • LyrianLyrian Posts: 294Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ElRenmazuo

    “Imagine a shared universe MMORPG, expressly operated by a company that *already knows all your friends*, that's trying to maximize your engagement (‘hey, all your friends are playing right now, don't you want to join too?’), selling your attention to advertisers, and by the way, also building a detailed profile on everything you do so they can do all of this even better in the future. It's okay, go on doing whatever you want, we just want to watch! (Through your own eyeballs if possible).”

    This actually has me excited.

    Yes please. The less time I'm forced to spend in Real Life. The better.

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member
    Originally posted by Azaron_Nightblade
    Originally posted by SpottyGekko

    I get what he's saying, but I don't understand why his opinions are somehow being used to blame "VR" technology. His comments could just as well be applied to all online gaming (unless you're doing it while sitting next to someone on the couch...).

     

    Unless what he's trying to say is that VR tech will make online gaming more enjoyable for the player, and therefore attract even more people to the "anti-social" world of online gaming ?

    That's what I got from his article.

    He rage quit Valve because he thinks VR is going to make everyone even more anti-social than online gaming is already doing. (since it's being used as "a gateway to the ultimate MMORPG" or however he phrased that nonsense. :P)

    Personally I believe that gaming currently has more of a negative impact on the greater society then it should. I also think that the industry could reverse that negative impact on society by making it positive. 

    I DONT however think hardware is the reason for this negativity. I think its game content.

    If this guy is looking for a negitive impact on social life because of gaming he is looking in the wrong places.

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • EvelknievelEvelknievel Ehrenfeld, PAPosts: 2,977Member
    For some reason I think of the movie 'Surrogates' and 'Gamer' once I read this.
  • keithiankeithian Los Angeles, CAPosts: 3,042Member Uncommon
    I dont care what he says, as far as I'm concerned, this is by far the most exciting thing on the horizon and will succeed where 3D gaming failed..because  it is evolutionary and not just a step up in something and changes an entire experience. It may take a few years to totally take hold but I believe eventually it will as they perfect the hardware, software, and increase the applications beyond gaming.

    There Is Always Hope!

  • tawesstawess LkpgPosts: 2,536Member Uncommon

    He´s adorable.....

     

    Any way VR has so many uses outside of gaming that his issue is a none-issue. For an example VR tech can be used to give people access to places they never could visit in reality due to physical, mental or financial reasons.

     

    Gaming is just the very top of the iceberg... but it is the part that is crusted with gold  The place to get this tech of the floor... well it is either gaming or the adult biz.... And since i ran out of mind-bleach i prefer to not think about what that combo could do....

  • tplceotplceo xx, ALPosts: 6Member
    I dont care what he says, as far as I'm concerned, this is by far the most exciting thing on the horizon and will succeed where 3D gaming failed..because  it is evolutionary and not just a step up in something and changes an entire experience. It may take a few years to totally take hold but I believe eventually it will as they perfect the hardware, software, and increase the applications beyond gaming.so i will play another browser game which is free, name is The league of angels!
  • PrecusorPrecusor PalmaPosts: 4,733Member Uncommon
    VR gaming to interactive movies is the future. 
  • tet666tet666 cfgvbfdgPosts: 126Member

    Typical german attitude (he's a a german btw)

    An American, a Japanese and a German get an explanation of a new technology. The American says: Wow, so you can make a lot of bucks with this great!" The Japanese says: "Interesting, but can you also make it smaller?" The German starts to panic and says, "Oh my God, it's going to kill us all, we are doomed, can we ban it?

     

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