Thursday, December 13, 2012

Author Spotlight - Tobias S. Buckell

"Your story “A Game of Rats and Dragon” is a cyberpunk/virtual reality mash-up set in a different sort of Manhattan. Was this story inspired by the Cordwainer Smith short story of the same name? Will you tell us a little about how that came to be? It is inspired by Cordwainer Smith, the story “A Game of Rat and Dragon.” The idea was not so much virtual reality, but augmented reality. I’ve been really intrigued by adding a pair of goggles that overlay digital data over existing objects in the real world (virtual reality inside out, so to speak). You can see the effect using the app AcrossAir for the iPhone. What is more interesting to me is what we’ll do when we gamify augmented reality. Tabletop gaming, stuff like Dungeons and Dragons, has a strong following. But when the mechanics of those playing styles were wedded to a video game, a sort of virtual reality, we saw an explosion of MMORPGs and a mainstreaming of those gaming mechanics. I think it will be interesting and mainstream when we start getting a mix of augmented reality and what is now a more niche activity called live action roleplaying (or LARPing)." 4 out of 5