Even if you can overlook the expense, the current lack of games, the potential for nausea, and the annoyance of wearing a clamshell on your sweaty face, virtual reality has a looming problem: trolls.
Turns out that the same internet jerks who ruin online spaces and games via text and avatar show up to do the same in virtual reality too.
As MIT Technology Review wrote yesterday, part of the point of socializing in virtual worlds is to feel the "presence" of other people -- but the very benefit that makes "virtual reality so compelling also makes awkward or hostile interactions with other people much more jarring," such as when people invade your private space or try to touch your avatar without permission.
The publication highlights AltSpaceVR, a startup building tools to help people deal with trolls. The company has some of the basics already -- like a way to make obnoxious people invisible with a block -- but it's also working on a "personal space bubble" to stop people from groping your virtual self without permission, which they would otherwise do because people are gross and have no shame.
If you've been trying to get into Asheron's Call this weekend for one last look ahead of its sunset -- and failing -- you're not alone. Multiple readers and writers have confirmed for us that some of the servers have been suffering outages this weekend. Based on threads on Postcount (not safe for eyeballs, let alone work), it appears to be the work of one or more players who've decided to trollishly DDOS what's left of the game and community. (We won't be linking directly to the related threads on Reddit as the ensuing doxxing is not something we support.)
This isn't the first time the game has suffered these kinds of player-induced outages, though it's likely to be the last; in the fall of 2015, AC was offline for several weeks following a dupe-related server crash bug that players were exploiting for their own benefit.
We've all known trolls who love to dwell in dank forum posts and shadowy comment sections, ready to spread ill will and spark flame wars just to see the world burn. But what if a tool could be devised to identify such miscreants before they could do much damage?
That is one possibility that has arisen from a new Cornell University project in which researchers studied online communities (including IGN) and created an algorithm that can predict which posters had the highest likelihood of being banned in the future. The algorithm isn't perfect (it misclassifies one out of five users), but the team claims that it is able to spot a troll in as few as 10 posts.
The League of Legends community is in an uproar this week over a dispute regarding who owns the gameplay in a League of Legends match and who has the legal right to stream it. Riot Games President and Co-Founder Marc Merrill even suggested that players broadcasting professional player Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok's public matches may constitute bullying, harassment or e-stalking. The rest of the MOBA genre has been pretty sedate this week, as Sins of a Dark Age approaches the first anniversary of its Steam Early Access release and South Korean MOBA Chaos Heroes Online is closing its doors just months after officially launching.
Star Citizen described its complex designs for immersive asteroid mining gameplay with separate minigames for mining beam control, asteroid scanning, and pulling in rock fragments with a tractor beam. Bungie warned against the dangers of using the PS4's Share Play feature after an 11-year-old kid had his Destiny characters deleted by a troll. Path of Exile is getting a fully localised Russian release complete with a local realm and full voice acting. And Diablo III's patch 2.2.0 is set to boost several legendary item sets, improve the randomness of Nephalem Rifts, add new treasure goblins, and more. Asian servers will also get a new microtransaction system, though Blizzard says there are no plans yet to release microtransactions in Diablo III's US or EU realms.