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4th November 2016

Black Mirror Playtest: How immersive are you willing to be?

The capabilities of technology continue to blow our minds as we become more reliant on it, wading aimlessly through a sea of screens. The latest Black Mirror series from Charlie Brooker’s futuristic predictions are becoming less difficult to imagine.

Episode 2 Playtest in particular got us thinking. If you haven’t managed to catch it on Netflix yet, then the general gist is that we will be able to experience immersive gaming via brain implant technology and experience days in seconds.

Would you use brain chip technology?

If the possibilities of where we could go and what we could experience were endless and time was no object; would a brain implant be an appealing option? There was a time when the response would have be ‘absolutely not’. This may not be the case for those who crave the latest hit of gaming tech.

There is an element of risk from a new breed of biological hackers that is harrowing, but consider this. If your brain was your console and you were able to experience days or weeks in seconds; you could travel the world in your lunch break, slay zombies in your spare time or finally fulfill your fantasy of a threesome without risk of the fallout (just saying).

Like it or not we all have become reliant on technology and in years to come you could be viewing this through your actual eyePad.

Forget zombies, a robot apocalypse is becoming a real possibility

Except we will be humanised robots, plugged into technology.

In Playtest what seemed like 24 hours only lasted a split second. There is something fascinating about the idea of your mind experiencing more time than you have physically existed in. Would a break in the equilibrium have catastrophic or groundbreaking results?

If this were possible we could live in a world where learning could be experienced at lightspeed. You could complete an entire degree or become a skilled ninja in seconds. Getting a job could be reliant on whether you can afford the latest brain chip upgrade and the MD of a bluechip company could be a ridiculously rich adolescent with extreme body modification.

The truth is we are already heading in that direction as kids outsmart their parents with the latest technology. In one sense technology has helped people across the world to ‘connect’, but to truly live, experience and connect we also need to escape it. We think the trick is to relentlessly strive to remain connected to reality and encourage future generations to hold on to what is real to remain connected to reality.

If the immersion is virtual, are we really experiencing anything?

Unless you are willing to lose all ties with reality at the flick of a memory wipe switch, a biological tripwire will always remain. No matter how invigorating the virtual experience it will never be as good as the real thing and there will be an overwhelming sense of disconnection from real experience.

While technology does have a role to play (you are reading this on a digital screen right now), our mission at Handmade Mysteries is to help people escape their busy lives and the talons of technology. Delivering a real immersive experience that helps you connect with your friends or family. Capturing that silly feeling you get when you play a board game or enjoy a jilted session of charades.

Whatever the future of virtual reality has in store for us, we believe that, like the unrivalled feeling of a turning a page in your favourite book – an element of nostalgia will always remain. Handmade actual reality will always beat the artificial experience.

Like mum used to say, don’t get to close to the screen – you’ll get square eyes.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like our recent post on the experience economy and how more of us are valuing experience over stuff.