The Rise of Augmented Reality in Gaming


The Rise of Augmented Reality in Gaming

Gaming comes in all forms. There are people that enjoy board games, console games, PC games, and mobile games. No matter what your interests may be, there seems to be a platform for everyone to enjoy in the gaming universe. I’ve often wondered how far we’ll go in games and how real they might actually get!

I remember seeing Minority Report with Tom Cruise a while back and I thought to myself how cool it would be to have something like that. If you fast forward a few years after Minority Report, we have devices like Kinect for the Xbox that allow you to do at least a few of the things in that movie. I know it’s a rough example, but my point is that technology is always progressing. The ways in which we interact with games is changing and growing, too. It’s the reason why I think the augmented reality game will soon be just as normal as picking up a controller.

What is augmented reality?

It’s a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, or GPS data. It’s combining your game with the real world or actual items/places in the world.

If you doubted that an augmented reality game (ARG) would be mainstream enough to be on a rise, then I have two words for you: Google Glass. Right now Glass isn’t being developed with gaming as its main focus, but the possibilities of implementing some type of augmented reality in gaming is there. The moment Google Glass was announced and people started testing the hardware, I immediately thought of an ARG. Microsoft itself even filed a patent for augmented reality glasses. Looking at Google Glass and the apparent interest from Microsoft, you can see that there is a rise coming for ARGs. We’ll soon have something that’s much more practical.

There are quite a few augmented reality games you can try, which range from heavy to light in terms of the real world things they’ve implemented. You’re often only able to use your mobile phone to participate, but what if you could participate with Google Glass? Seeing these games intertwined with the real world element they have play out in front of your eyes would seem to be much more enjoyable than looking at a second screen smartphone.

Until developers decided to take Glass that route though, all we can do is hope. Even without the added bonus of a Glass game application, ARGs are still being implemented quite well on mobile phones. Augmented reality continues to become more prominent to developers as it proves its worth in the mobile space. The gaming industry is beginning to implement it more now to try and revolutionize each individual game experience.

Augmented reality in gaming has even spawned international contests to see who could create the best experience. Metaio, sponsor of the contests, is the leader in AR research and recently chose winners of their latest developer contest. One of the winners was Clandestine Anomaly, which is more than just a mobile game. It is an immersive narrative augmented reality experience, where players use their smart mobile device or tablet as the primary window into a covert science fiction adventure that takes place all around them.

It’s one of the finer ARGs that have come out. If you like science fiction and want to take gaming out of the living room, then it is worth checking out. It truly takes your experience to another level.

I hope the interest continues to grow for these types of games. Maybe one day I’ll be involved in my own Watch Dogs game in which I’m hacking the real world via some fancy AR glasses. I know that’s a stretch right now, but one day it might happen.

Daylon Furlough is the author of the Day 8 New Human war book series. He is known in the gaming industry as The Velvet Voice, aka Deacon.  He received the Microsoft Xbox MVP for 8 consecutive years and has a love for all things tech, nerd, geek and gaming. He hosts a variety of entertainment events in Dallas, including movie premieres, mobile phone launches, game launches and more. You can visit his website at Unscripted 360.