It’s rainstorm outside. Not a single thing is clear, let alone any thought of playing a cricket match. All day before the computer playing games, have worn me out. It seemed like my mind was craving to go outside. Immediately, I called my friend. I was taken aback when he said he was playing cricket. It was like ‘how the hell he was playing cricket in this rain’. First, I thought he might be joking. I even considered the possibility of computer game-EA Cricket. When I inquired about it, all that he said was to come to the Digiworld Mall. It is a new mall, that has budded in the city, just 5 days ago. I always wanted to visit it, but never did I get a chance. Just 5 days seemed like I was waiting for 5 years. My friends who visited the mall, was all mouths about the hi-tech facilities in the mall. The Digiworld concept focuses on sports and you would find nothing other than sports. Anyways, I got ready quickly and left for the mall.
As I said, Digiworld is different. Hell yes!! it is. It seemed like I have entered the world of Total Recall or other hi-fi movie plots. The mall is really synonymous to its name. The flying bikes and cars became real. My friend was waiting there for me. He took me to a Sportacus zone. It was a room, not very big. He told me to wait there for a minute and disappeared into a room. When he came back, he was looking like a cyborg. Before I could say anything more, he explained to me everything. Now, allow me to tell you about my experience. It was the Virtual Cricket Arena. He was dressed for batting. There are other players, who are also in the same network. They may or may not be in the same place. It was just like online social games. There were 3 more players in the same mall. The other players were from the UK, USA, New Zealand etc… It was time for a T20 match.
My friend asked me to press the start key, on the corner of the room. The granite floor became a grassy field. There were about 25000 spectators and I could see the non striker batsman and the opposing team players. It was like really being on a stadium. I was asked to put a wrist band. To my surprise, as I wore it, I could see myself in the spectator group. The match started. My friend was performing actions just like a batsman would do. The bowler was running. I could see the ball coming and there, it flew over the boundary. Everything was virtual, except the players and myself. The ball was an image and others were lighting setup.
That area offered the exact thrill and excitement as in real cricket game. It was way too better than computer games. It was Virtual Sports. The rooms and gadgets are connected through network which is uninterrupted by other networks. The gadgets are embedded with sensors which senses our actions. The screens in the wall provide the best realistic display which makes us believe that we are really in a stadium. You can even communicate with your neighbor, who actually might be somewhere in France or Australia. You can also buy pop corns, juices from the vendors with the virtual money, but the only problem is that you can only enjoy the smell. You cannot really eat it. But the chain like thing you would wear and the cap on your head does the trick of virtual snacks. I got the chance of batting, believe me, it was just like real cricket. Even the power of the shot depend upon how hard we hit. It was one hell of experience.
One thing is sure, with the current pace of technology, weather conditions will surrender before it and sports. With the extend of this type of technology I wonder what will be the fate of stadiums and other ‘real’ things. Of course, they cannot be completely replaced by the ‘virtual’ thing. Last, I have to say it was all amazing, but even after the realistic effect, it lacks something when compared to real cricket. My final verdict will be “Real is real. Nothing can replace it.”