I’ve been excited to get hands-on with Google’s game streaming service, Stadia because I believe this is the future of gaming and actually just about any streamable experience. It makes perfect sense to not have to own cutting edge rendering hardware in need of regular upgrades and only used a small fraction of the time when we can just own personal screens and send the content to them. It is definitely far more resource-efficient to share access to such high-end gear among many users. The big question is if our network infrastructure can handle the kind of latency required for real-time experience streaming. During my trial, over the last couple of days, Stadia worked like a charm, streaming HD video in rapid response to our controller interactions.
Now, what I look forward to is the age of Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One”, when anyone anywhere can enter the virtual world and have out-of-this-world experiences. Of course, that will require a whole new level of bandwidth to stream [x]K per eye (other senses likely won’t need that kind of responsiveness or definition as sight) with super-low latency, but that can likely to be realized by the like of SpaceX’s StarLink.
So my question becomes, will such virtual experiences be sufficient for the mind to feel a connection to nature, emulated characters to satisfy our need for company? Would it be enough for our sanity to virtually experience large open spaces, the tranquility of a forest, a walk on the beach while crossing cosmic distances in cramped spacecraft or being stationed underground on the Moon or Mars?