It’s generally seen as a good thing for all of us that digital recreation is constantly expanding. It means new ways of entertaining ourselves, and frankly it helps to keep all of us on our toes where technology is concerned. Entertainment, really, is responsible for helping us get comfortable with a lot of new tech as it makes its way to the mainstream. Unfortunately, it can also be responsible for bringing about new security concerns.
The simple fact is that with just about any new tech-based opportunity or application these days there come new ways of exposing our personal information or otherwise making ourselves vulnerable. Solutions to these problems vary from one instance to the next, and we won’t get into specifics here. What we can do, however, is highlight some of the areas in which we could soon see innovation in digital recreation – and thus where we should be aware of new security concerns in the coming years.
Virtual Social Networks
It has been suggested here and there that virtual reality is the future of social networking, and it’s an exciting idea. One can easily imagine conversing with friends in virtual space through avatars, and enjoying entire digital worlds’ worth of experiences. When you consider all of the security challenges we associate with existing social networks already though, it’s clear that this is also a space in which we’ll all have to work to protect ourselves. Data breaches and theft of personal information aren’t exactly uncommon where social networks are concerned, and this will unfortunately be true of any new ones that come about through VR also.
Interactive fiction isn’t a brand new idea, but it’s one that’s being brought around again in new ways – namely, through television. Thanks to Netflix, the idea of interactive TV is now one that’s generating a lot of buzz, the idea being that each viewer can become a showrunner, in a sense. One can select a show now and actually make choices as to which direction the narrative takes. In terms of how this works through Netflix it really doesn’t present any security concerns that having a Netflix account in the first place doesn’t already bring about. However, if the idea catches on and interactive stories become more broadly popular, we probably will face new challenges. For instance, in that event there would likely be all kinds of new sites and services asking users to build accounts so as to keep track of their story progress. This would mean doling out personal information (and in some cases possibly payment details) to a host of new services.
The idea of eSports representing popular digital recreation isn’t as much of a hypothetical as, say, interactive stories catching on. Indeed, eSports are already quite popular all around the world. However, most everyone seems to agree that they still have potential to get more popular, which means many people will still need to consider the associated risks in the years to come. It’s estimated right now that over 70 million people worldwide watch eSports, and with that number always growing you can get some idea as to the size of the market. How you enjoy eSports within this market is entirely up to you, but it might mean interacting with other spectators, making your own gaming accounts, or even placing bets on tournaments – all of which can come with digital security concerns.
Augmented reality is a broad category, and we won’t be getting into all the various aspects of its potential here. But it’s widely believed that at some point in the coming years AR glasses will make this a much more useful technology, such that AR could essentially become its own new category of mobile technology. That will mean all kinds of new apps, which will bring with them just as many security considerations as our current mobile app stores. That is to say, we’ll likely be making accounts and setting up user profiles with all kinds of new services we can’t fully envision just yet.
Most of these changes and innovations are very exciting, and should bring us a lot of joy and intrigue in the coming years. As always with emerging tech though, we’ll simply have to remain vigilant when it comes to keeping ourselves safe.