Games Without Frontiers: Victory in Vomit

Wired reviews Mirror’s Edge

When you run, you see your hands pumping up and down in front of you. When you jump, your feet briefly jut up into eyeshot — precisely as they do when you’re vaulting over a hurdle in real life. And when you tuck down into a somersault, you’re looking at your thighs as the world spins around you.

What’s more, the Mirror’s Edge world feels tactile and graspable. Because the game is designed around the concept of parkour, or moving through obstacles, most times when you see something that looks like you could jump on it, you can. The gameplay requires it.

The upshot is that these small, subtle visual cues have one big and potent side effect: They trigger your sense of proprioception. It’s why you feel so much more “inside” the avatar here than in any other first-person game. And it explains, I think, why Mirror’s Edge is so curiously likely to produce motion sickness. The game is not merely graphically realistic; it’s neurologically realistic.

This will be an interesting update for all the dissertation chapters that have already been written on Lara Croft’s virtual body.

2 thoughts on “Games Without Frontiers: Victory in Vomit

  1. Woah! That was a good comic. Thanks for the suggestion, Matt.
    By the way, almost half of my e-writing students have chosen an interactive fiction game this year… that’s the biggest number yet. Inform 7 really makes a difference! Today was alpha release day.

Leave a Reply to Dennis G. Jerz Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *