Practicing Parkour on Digital Skyscrapers

How recent and upcoming technologies might actually allow us to jump from building to building at dizzying heights.

Practicing Parkour on Digital Skyscrapers, While there’s a clear distinction between virtual and actual reality, blurring the lines between the two has always been a favorite sci-fi speculation for many. One need not look farther than  The Matrix  series of films to see how convincingly real the digital world can be once the technology catches up.


You’d think, of course, that that’s still a long ways off. However, emerging techs such as augmented reality – which has digital code working in tandem with real world stimuli – and the recently released Oculus Rift headset actually have some techwatchers thinking that we might be closer to a fully-realized immersive digital world than we think.

Apart from the two technologies mentioned above, video games have always proven to be veritable testing grounds of the aforementioned digital immersion. Of course with them, it’s not so much about what players can see than it is about what they can feel; the atmosphere, so to speak. IGT – an online gaming company whose titles can be sampled at online slot website Castle Jackpot – is one of the pioneers of the so-called live online casinos. These games utilize live video feeds that show ongoing games draped in authentic low-lighting and a dealer that communicates with players in real time, bringing online gamblers that much closer to the real thing.

For parkour enthusiasts, there’s the breakout hit PC and console title Mirror’s Edge to give them a palpable taste of free-running in digital playgrounds. Because of the game’s use of a first-person perspective, the dizzying point of view makes it feel that much closer to home. Every jump, vault, swing, and somersault makes you feel like you’re actually executing them because of the simple gameplay mechanic of proper camera positioning.

With all the other techs mentioned above – atmospheric video feeds, AR assists, and the Oculus Rift – imagine how infinitely cooler a romp through virtual skyscrapers a la Mirror’s Edge can be. While some lucky testers of the Rift’s dev kit version have already used the headset on said game, it’s still a different thing to actually play it with live video interlaced with AR HUDs.

Practicing Parkour on Digital Skyscrapers, Perhaps when flying camera drones become more commonplace, we might actually get to experience just that. Until then, the upgraded graphics of the upcoming Mirror’s Edge sequel coupled with the Rift will have to sate our hundred-story parkour cravings for the time being.

Author, cgwires

CG WIRES is an online destination for computer graphics artists. CGWIRES aim to serve entertainment production industry with News, Features and Community services.