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Country for Old Men (and Women)
by Luis Matos on 04/22/14 02:58:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

This week I was quite surprised at the latest news about Oculs Rift. I guess you will never know how people use their technology and how far they can go with it, in ways that are unsee even to the creators of such technology. And it makes you wonder about the use of Virtual Reality (VR) in games!

First let me tell you the story the way it has been reported in the media. Priscilla Firstenberg is a game designer that had a brilliant idea to surprise her grandmother. You see, grandmother Roberta suffered from cancer and was very debilitated, spending her days in a sofa at home. She longed for the long walks of the past, the open gardens and butterflies. So Priscilla wrote to Oculus VR with her story and they sent a Developers Kit with a demo of their Tuscan Vila. The effect can be seen in the video. It was a great experience for both granddaughter and grandmother. It's touching to see how the elderly woman learns how to use the new technology as if she was a young child. She loved to be able to go up and down the stairs, something she wasn't able to de in real life for a few years. The story doesn't end well. Roberta died four months after playing with Rift for the first time. Priscilla hadn't been able to add the butterflies in time. But the experience must have been extraordinary for both woman.

It's a touching story. But I cannot stop wondering what will we find ahead in the road. Is there an age limit at all when we will stop enjoying games? The type liberating experience that Roberta had, could it be turned into something even more exciting, more compelling, so that future grandmothers and grandfathers can return to their carefree memories of distant afternoons playing games in the park, running with mates, singing along the songs that are long forgotten? We tend to live longer and, with the evolution of healthcare and the availability of food, clean water and good living conditions in more and more parts of the world, elderly people will become an important segment of the population that no business should shun or underestimate.

I wonder, yes i do. Is there an age limit to enjoy games?


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