Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Introduction to Sword Art Online

Cover of the first volume of Sword Art Online
©Dengeki Bunko

(This post is to fulfill the assignment from REAL English Course in IONs International Education, Yogyakarta, Indonesia)

Sword Art Online (SAO) is Japanese light novel series authored by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. The first volume was released on April 10th 2009. The series has been going for 16 volumes to date with the 16th volume was released on August 8th 2015. It has the anime adaptation with two seasons which aired between July and December 2012 for the first season and between July and December 2014 for the second season. Sword Art Online has received worldwide success as the light novels has been sold for over 16 million copies in several countries such as Japan, USA, China, and many more. However, the anime adaptations had received mixed reviews, praised for its animation and music, but criticized for its pacing and writing. There is also a scheduled SAO Movie that will air on 2017 titled "Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale" which will have original story.

The first volume of the series revolves around Kazuto Kirigaya, a 14 years old gamer who joined the beta testing of a VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Game) named Sword Art Online. He played under the alias name "Kirito". The game implemented Virtual Reality technology which requires the player to equip a peripheral named NerveGear, a helm-like device that allows the player to dive into the game and feels like they are inside the game world. Little did they know that the game was actually created by Akihiko Kayaba to be a kind of human experiment. If the players run out of health in-game or have their NerveGear forcefully removed, the person will actually die in the real world. The only way they could log out of the game is to reach the 100th floor and defeat the final boss. Kirito had to work together with 1.000 other SAO players for their survival and escape from this virtual hell.

Sword Art Online franchise has spanned into other media such as video games. There are four video games for consoles including SAO-Infinity Moment (PSP, 2013), SAO-Hollow Fragment (PS Vita, 2014), SAO-Lost Song (PS3 and Vita, 2015), and the upcoming SAO-Hollow Realization that will be released for Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita on 2016. There is an ongoing virtual reality project sponsored by IBM titled "Sword Art Online: The Beginning" which will take the players into the world of Sword Art Online. The equipped devices will capture the player's movement in real life and translate them into the game, which the players will see through the NerveGear prototype. The alpha testing has been conducted by 208 people in Japan. Recent news in the internet says that the project isn't supposed to be a commercial game, but it's just for research purpose. But, by looking at the virtual reality games that has been developing vigorously, such possibility is not zero, right?

Alpha-testing of "Sword Art Online: The Beginning"

Here's the alpha-testing report by

1 comment:

  1. makasih buat infonya, infonya sangat menarik,blognya sangat kreatif...
    kunjungan yang bermanfaat thank