Augmented reality games have transformed the face of the gaming industry in recent years. No longer must players simply manipulate joycons or computer keyboards in their hands. No more watching cartoonish characters on a screen. Now, video gamers can feel like they are a part of the live-action with augmented reality gaming systems.
Augmented virtual reality gaming and AR games allow players to level up their experience. Augmented gaming makes video games more appealing to a variety of age groups. It even has some social and emotional benefits not previously associated with video gaming. With a 5G Home Internet phone plan powering it, this technology helps players blur the lines of reality for educational, entertainment and even therapeutic reasons.
Standard video games offer a different experience compared with AR games and digital reality gaming alternatives. Once players have experienced AR or VR, there is no going back. These technologies change the gaming experience by extending it beyond a gaming chair into a full -body adventure. Here are a few of the many benefits of using these technologies when gaming:
Changed perspective — Instead of staring at a computer or television screen while playing a traditional game, AR and VR transport the player directly into the game, changing their entire perspective. Players participate in the game in the first person versus as an avatar they control. Geolocation, 3D tracking, and smart glasses and goggles are among the technology support devices allowing for more creativity and innovation.
Improved gaming system — Using AR and VR technology makes video gaming more appealing to players. It opens the door to endless possibilities for game designers and players because the visuals have become more realistic. People who previously did not have much interest in video games are more willing to try those featuring AR and VR.
Increased engagement — Game developers know that AR and VR is the way to keep players engaged in the gaming experience. One of the reasons players get more involved is that augmented gaming and digital reality gaming are hands -free. People can play for longer periods without holding a device in their hands. A bonus is the ability of players to exactly mimic what their characters do in the game with their own gestures and movements.
Physical activity — Virtual reality gaming and AR games take players from their couches and gaming chairs to up on their feet. Gamers can move their bodies in ways not possible when manipulating standard video gaming controllers. This active participation makes virtual reality and augmented reality gaming a healthier endeavour.
The main purpose of AR games that use augmented reality technology and digital reality gaming is to enhance the gaming experience. Whilst both AR and VR have the same goal, the experience of using each differs. An overview of how they work can help players decide which system is most appealing to them.
VR games are three-dimensional, computergenerated experiences that allow players to use a VR headset or other smart glasses to explore and interact with the game. Virtual reality works best for cinematic and story-based gameplay. It is a great way to engage the senses to make players feel like they have been transported to a different place or time.
AR games transform the real world around us through digital elements that players can hear, feel, see, and touch. Those who use a smartphone can access AR technology, and not just for gaming purposes. Apps that transform real people into cartoon versions of themselves is one example of AR technology. The differences between AR and VR come down to the equipment used to make each work. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two to help distinguish them.
|Augmented reality||Virtual reality|
|Uses real-world settings.||Uses virtual settings.|
|Users control their presence in the real world.||Users are controlled by the system.|
|Users do not need any special equipment beyond a smartphone to make the technology work.||Users must incorporate a headset device to make the technology work.|
|Enhances both the virtual and physical worlds.||Enhances fictional reality only.|
Augmented virtual reality has upped the stakes for video game production companies hoping to hold onto a share of the marketplace. Mobile phone games currently generate the biggest revenue shares worldwide, followed by consoles and downloaded/boxed PC games. It would make the most sense for companies producing AR games featuring augmented reality components to focus their energies on mobile devices, since that is the largest segment of the gaming population at this time. Here are some other demographics of global video gamers that may come into play as more video game and other entertainment producers consider the value of AR and VR:
In 2016, Pokémon Go revolutionised the way video gamers used augmented virtual reality technology. AR games and augmented reality had not yet become mainstream before Pokémon Go went viral across the globe. People could be found wandering around, phones in hand, searching for the elusive exotic monsters featured in this Japanese cartoon franchise.
An app downloaded to their smartphones transformed the environment around them to create virtual images of Pokémon characters and other treasures they could collect. The goal of the game’s creators was to encourage players to visit public landmarks in their search for virtual loot and collectible Pokémon characters. Players would follow the map provided, then use their phones to transform the real world to reveal if they had played the game correctly and located the prize.
The game was wildly popular, with some players throwing caution to the wind whilst fully engaged with it. This created a host of unforeseen real-world dangers that threatened to offset the AR game’s benefits. Distracted walking and people trespassing onto the property because the app sent them to those coordinates were just some of the issues. Pokémon Go game developers eventually were forced to issue warnings about not trespassing on private property and avoiding distracted walking (or biking) whilst in hot pursuit of Pokémon characters. It served as a lesson in what can go wrong when new technology — in this case, augmented reality — goes mainstream.
Problem-solving in an immersive environment is a huge draw for some gamers. It is one of the many reasons escape rooms have grown in popularity over the years. Immersion is not just for entertainment. Some educators have begun using escape rooms as part of the curriculum to enhance learning because of their effectiveness. The same experience can be simulated in the video game realm using AR and VR.
What makes a game immersive depends on the perspective of the person playing it. Psychologists prefer the term ‘presence’ when describing the experience because players who engage in immersive gameplay feel like they have left the real world. This happens because VR and AR tap into multiple channels of sensory information. In other words, they fully engage all the senses. For instance, a game that introduces a bird visually can power up the experience by also incorporating the sounds the bird makes as it flies by the player to engage both the sight and sound senses. Immersion is incredibly effective in luring players back into games regularly, especially when the interactions they have within the game system are consistently sensory-rich. People who regularly use virtual reality gaming may even begin to favour the VR-based space.
Moving forward, AR games with immersive experiences may become more interesting and get better at fully engaging players within the storylines. AR assistive devices like goggles and glasses, as well as the batteries used to power it all, should also become more affordable.
The evolution of AR and VR involves more than boosting engagement and user experience within augmented video games. Gaming and television have become odd bedfellows as more companies explore ways to merge complementary technologies. GenXers and Boomers remember well the era of the ‘choose your own ending’ books. Readers were given options for leading the main character through a story that gave them ultimate control over all decisions leading up to the book’s conclusion. Today, that same idea has found its way into our TV screens. Shows like Netflix’s Dark Mirror: Bandersnatch and Nickelodeon’s Meet the Voxels have found engaging and innovative ways to incorporate AR and VR into their programming. Both plays use real-time technology to build viewer interest, with a focus on the gaming community. Whether this trend continues remains to be seen.
Gamers may have noticed an emerging trend in the augmented reality games they play: the strategic placement of products within scenes. Maybe it is a soft drink from a popular brand a character drinks when they are thirsty or a specific model of car they must steal as part of the storyline. They may not realise it at the time, but those placements are quite intentional, and companies pay a premium to get them within popular augmented and virtual games. AR games like Pokémon Go attract businesses that want to be featured as part of the gameplay because it increases their visibility. There is hardly a shortage of how organisations can capitalise on the popularity of AR.