Feb 23, 2016 | By Benedict

IBM Japan has announced that it will be making a virtual reality MMO game of Sword Art Online, a popular light novel and anime television series. Sword Art Online: The Beginning will utilize 3D scanning technology to turn players’ faces into in-game avatars.

Yesterday’s announcement that IBM Japan would be developing a virtual reality, massively multiplayer online game adaptation of Sword Art Online brought joy to anime fans across the globe. Since 2009, the hit novel and television series has captured the imaginations of millions with its philosophical explorations of virtual reality, and devotees will soon have the chance to immerse themselves further into the fantasy world of the franchise.

Think of Sword Art Online as a complex Japanese amalgamation of The Matrix and Tron. In the story world, it is the year 2022. A virtual reality massively multiplayer online role-playing game (within the story) has trapped its players inside the game for as-yet unknown reasons. If the players die within the game, they die in real life.

Fortunately, Sword Art Online: The Beginning, the real-world, IBM-sponsored game, will allow its players to exit when they like. It will also deliver a host of other cool features, such as the ability to import 3D scans of players’ faces into the game as avatars. This 3D scanning feature will be demonstrated at a promotional event taking place in Toyko, March 18-20, which applicants can currently register to take part in.

IBM will use its Watson Cognitive Computing technology and SoftLayer cloud computing to host the VRMMO, which will be compatible with both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets. Little else is currently known about the project, but IBM’s use of cognitive computing could lead to more realistic AI in non-playable characters. Human players will control their character with motions.

It is not yet clear whether the 3D scanning capabilities to be demonstrated at the promotional event will be incorporated into the user edition of the game, but we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that they are. 208 Tokyo-based gamers will take part in the game’s alpha tests.

The forthcoming Sword Art Online game promises to be “something completely foreign to any other video game experience,” according to Reki Kawahara, author of the original light novel series. “By getting to experience being chased by a monster, I hope people will wonder more about the future of virtual reality gaming,” added the author, who has been closely involved in the game’s development.

Stay tuned for further announcements regarding this exciting medley of virtual reality, 3D scanning, and online gaming.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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jesse wrote at 2/25/2016 3:16:31 PM:

if you are the first to beat the 100th floor boss will that person recieve the seed of the game. "lol"

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