An advertisement by Swedish internet provider Umeå Energi has raised some interesting ideas about how badly latency affects our performance in online games. Using an Oculus Rift, a Raspberry Pi, and a webcam the company introduced between 1/3 and 3 seconds of lag into the lives of four volunteers and watched as they went about their lives.
Called the “living with lag” experiment, it is an obvious ploy to get people to invest in high speed broadband; although it does a great job of demonstrating the frustration that comes with a slow connection. The delay equates to about 300 ping on online games, and almost cripples the volunteers as they try to play ping pong, go bowling, and even cook.
It would definitely be more interesting if some real scientists took up this experiment and produced a paper on how experiencing a delayed reaction to the real world would affect people. But for now, it is entertaining enough to watch the advertisement and enjoy the chaos.