Thursday, January 22nd the new web-series Haphead premiers. The crowdfunded series is centered on a teenaged girl who takes a job in the factory of a video game hardware manufacture that has developed the next generation in haptic feedback technology. Set ten years into the future, this new haptic feedback allows players to feel every bit of the game they are playing and learn the skills their characters have developed.
For those that don’t know, haptic feedback is a technology that basically fakes the sense of touch its used on things like smartphones and game controllers. It is that slight vibration you feel when you touch the screen of your cellphone (if it has haptic feedback technology) that lets you know that your touch input has been received, or when your game controller rumbles when you are say pushing a rock across the ground, something that would cause that sensation if done in real life.
In the series, the individuals that have access to this new hardware are referred to as Hopheads, hence the show’s name. Getting access to the cables opens up a new world of fighting and intrigue.
The premise of this show is actually one of my favorite thought experiments brought to life. I have always wondered what it would be like if I was able to learn to do the things the characters I control in video games can do. In the trailer we see the protaganist playing her favorite game with fighting anthropomorphized rabbits and she learns to kick butt from the game. But what about people who play role-playing games or first person shooters? I really hope the series gets to explore how this new technology works for people who play games other than fighting games. It would be interesting to see where people who learn to cast spells and slay dragons fit into this new underground culture of the Hapheads.