Ronnie05's Blog

Profiling Augmented Reality(AR) (Part III): Gaming, the biggest beneficiary

Posted in The Technology Ecosystem by Manas Ganguly on September 10, 2009

Other applications of augmented reality lead us right back into Terminator territory: “There was a project,” says Dr David England, computer science lecturer at Liverpool John Moore University, “where people wearing visors and backpacks re-enacted a virtual Pacman outside, so they ran down the road shooting the enemy they could see in their visors,” he says, referring to the popular computer game.

“Human Pacman” took place in Singapore University, but similar though less-exciting experiments with augmented or mixed reality gaming have taken place around the world. “The main problem is visor quality,” Dr England explains. “When mass-produced visors improve, you’ll see a lot more of this kind of game.”

It’s called pervasive gaming and a group set up to explore it, IPerG (Integrated Project on Pervasive Gaming) describes it as “a radically new game form that extends gaming experiences out into the physical world”. Which sounds dangerous. However, Dr England says the risks are similar to driving when using a mobile phone: “Of course there will have to be basic common sense.” He adds that AR can be put to much more co-operative and educative uses: letting people leave virtual treasure trails, or plant imaginary gardens together using the Facebook app Farmville, for example. “You get more co-operative games in mixed reality, people in different places can come together and share tasks”. He also mentions a mixed reality table that sketches science diagrams and can be used as a teaching tool. There’s also a belt that can help its wearer avoid collisions in the dark by vibrating when it senses an approaching object.

Rob Hale – games designer and author of the Games Design Blog – thinks augmented reality gaming will be different from its virtual equivalent: “Getting hit by a car in reality hurts a lot more than it does in a videogame,” he says. But he sees possibilities as well. In sport for example: “AR could allow us to bring the best bits of video games to real-life sports such as feedback on your performance and positions of your team mates … If you were going for a run, you could bring up a display of your previous best times, heart rate and the locations of other joggers nearby.”

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  1. […] ronnie051178: Gaming looks to be the biggest beneficiary of Augmented Reality. http://ronnie05.wordp… September 10th, 2009 […]


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