AR and gaming: Transforming video games from indoor to outdoor
Augmented reality and virtual reality (AR & VR) have the power to transform the industry but also change the way people interact and play games and also interaction of players with other people. Some of the examples of AR gaming are Ingress and Pokémon Go which have been played by millions of people around the world. These games make people to play outside their rooms and houses. This is just one small example of AR and VR gaming but the potential of AR is huge. Augmented reality was initially started in early 1990’s, introduced in Armstrong lab of US air force. Since 1990’s most of the organizations tried to develop AR products but they were never developed for the mass population. On the other hand mobile AR found itself a huge market with snapchat filters and location based games. For example Pokémon go where people could interact with different types of objects using the camera of their smartphone.
In the world of gaming different augmented reality framework are used like Unity 3D Vuforia, Android Arcore and IOS AR kit which enable developers to create an AR experience for the mobile games and applications. Some of the examples of AR games are Pokémon, Ingress, Parallel Mafia, Temple Treasure hunt and Geo AR. Virtual reality moved toward the gaming world and especially with the introduction of PlayStation VR gaming moved into another dimension. Since 2015 many developers like Facebook Oculus rift, Sony PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Microsoft windows mixed reality have developed new and better opportunities for the VR experience. These devices are completely dependent on the content and if it is not available then there is no use of the devices. Increased VR content help increase the potential and power surge of these devices. Some of the VR games for these devices are the climb, batman: Arkham VR, thumper lone echo and a lot more.
Indoor games and their disadvantages
Before we used to play outdoor like soccer, kickball, climbing trees and much more but with the introduction latest technology we have computer games, TV and PlayStation to entertain ourselves in door. But even with all those facilities something seems to be missing, joy, laughter, shared connections and freedom everything is replaced with just a controller. Outdoor games can help children learn on different levels. As they go through different adventures, built imaginary castles, creatures and lands which helps them in building their brain at faster rate. As compared to indoor gamers outdoor gamers grow at increased rate and their learning level is enhanced, they are smarts and have lots of friends. These are the people to be friends and have around as people like open minded people with experience of adventures.
Outdoor play not only affect your mental health but also your physical health. As children who play outdoor are more active and have better physical condition. While indoor gamers are no much active and have several effects on the health in the long run. In door gamers gain more weight and face overweight problem with comparison to the outdoor gamers. According to a study it was shown that indoor gamers face a disorder known as “Nature Deficit disorder” which implies that kids who have no exposure to nature are more stressed than kids who play outdoor and have contact with nature. Nature also helps in lowering the blood pressure and if we don’t play outside we will miss the opportunities of health from nature. Another issue is that gamers who play violent games are more violent in real life as compared with neutral video gamers.
Millennials and generation Z
Generation Z represents all those people who born between 1995 to 2012 while millennials are the one born in 1980 to 1994. By the end of 2020 40% of the people would be known as digital natives. Generation Z is born into the world of social media and digital systems so they have no idea about the life without social media. Millennials and generation z are both active on social media abut their approach is different. Millennials prefer Facebook, Instagram and twitter etc. while on the other hand generation z prefer more anonymous and private social media like Snapchat, WhatsApp, whisper and periscope etc. Before social media people use to gather at different places in order to socialize and play outdoor games and have different outdoor activities. While generation is focused on technology and want to socialize through social media there physical interaction is so limited and online interaction is vast.
According to a study younger millennials are more social person and socially connected. They actively seek social activities and they are more active than older peers. They join different types of social organization in order to socialize and build more networks quickly. As per the report of the media analysis company Nielsen, most of the people obsessed with the social media for socializing are the idle aged people and generation X is spending most of their time on social media and other media’s for socializing. Before people like to meet and do face to face discussions go to different social clubs in order to socialize. Technology changed the world of socializing, as we can see now people like to communicate and socialize using technology and social media. People are concerned about their privacy also and some of the people from generation i use anonymous social media services socialize.
Socializing through augmented reality and virtual reality
Augmented reality and virtual reality gaming is the latest trend among youngsters and millennials alike. According to a survey of Pew it was shown that 76% of the teenagers from U.S. play games with others in order to socialize more. According to them AR/VR gaming can increase socializing and helps you meet up with different person and similar interests. It also helps in making new friends and get to know a lot of interesting people. Augmented reality gaming is more social as players often encounter their friends and fellow players while playing the game. For instance Pokémon Go have a lot of features to promote interaction and socializing the players. The game have the functionality of Poke gyms and Poke Stops where people can gather to add up resources and socialize. On the other hand it also helps player to become a part of the team after a certain level in order to work together to strengthen the team and Pokémon in order to control or gain the poke gym. It also proved that the game enabled the players to play outdoor game and socialize with other players and become friends. It also enables players to interact with the different objects outside their room and play game outdoor on the go.
On the other hand there were several issues with indoor game play like increase in weight and high adiposity. Augmented reality and virtual reality gaming can help reduce the physical health risks as it keeps you active. Integration of the physical movement through AR/VR mitigating the risk of health issues and improving overall health of the gamers. According to a study Japanese adults proved that there are 22 activities in just two augmented and virtual reality games known as Wii Sports and Wii Fit Plus which can be considered intensive exercise. It helps you to improve your health and maintain your energy expenditure level. Another study proved that 10 to 13 years old have higher level of energy expenditure while playing Dance Dance revolution and Wii sport boxing than running on treadmill on three different levels of speed. AR/VR can also help in teaching and learning practices of the people as augmented reality gaming use marker technology which can crate 3 dimensional settings for the player from flat maps and game board which can be used in different educational settings. For example anthropology, geography and archaeology are the best example for the AR/VR gaming to promote learning and education.
Augmented reality and sport
Major League Baseball is one of the popular sport and considered as one of the future focused sport entity. They are willing to consistently test the different technological improvements and devices in order to enhance the experience of the fans. In order to attract new fans and maintain attention of currents fans MLB uses different types of technological innovations and advancements to retain the fans base. During 2007 MLB used a new augmented reality app called “at bat” where fans can check the statistics of the player while pointing their mobile toward the pitch and get detailed analysis of the situation. It not only shows the statistics of the players but also show the trajectory of the every hit and give power of an analyst to the fans. NBA also focusing on virtual reality and all of the games will be broadcasted on virtual reality in 2018.
Major League Soccer Club is also investing in augmented reality and a development application known as Blend AR. This augmented reality application can help user to get better statistics of the players and look at the field comprehensively. Fans can download augmented reality application before entering the stadium and watch a pre matchup video as greeting. After getting into the stadium a push notification will inform fans with GPS coordinates to get most out of AR experience. When fans move toward the poster and look at it they will be shown another video from one of their favorite player. After being seated fans can look at the statistics of each player individually and it also enables them to view the season highlights and make purchases of team merchandises.
Regardless of the implication of the augmented reality by the organizations it is show that fans like to be connected with the brands and teams they love. Augmented reality and virtual reality helps fans to get more information about their favorite products teams or players and changing the thinking of fans. Quickly it will become very essential for almost all the sports and if you are unable to cope up with it you will be left behind cause of the technological advancements.
The future of augmented reality is changing drastically and making huge changes into the gaming world. One of the biggest toymaker known as Hasbro is working on their new Iron man mask which uses augmented reality and make you the ironman. It set the stage where you battle with Thanos and his army. The red helmet and gauntlet show you the pointers and you are surrounded by the army of Thanos and you battle through them in augmented reality. Most of the companies are moving toward AR gaming like Apple, Google and many other companies in Silicon Valley. With the help of Apple’s AR kit developers able to put a fire breathing dragon into Lego city in order to enhance the AR experience of the people.
Virtual reality and augmented reality not only changing the gaming world but also affecting other businesses as well. For example in real estate business with the help of virtual reality you can visit different houses and take tours according to your needs. This helps in saving a lot of time and money, one of the best example for this is Sotheby’s who are providing this service for quite some time now. Company uses 3D scans of the houses and provide consumers virtual tours of the house in order to enhance their experience. Apple is currently working on the future game of Harry Potter AR and it’s under development. Harry Potter uses Apple’s AR Kit and focused on outdoor gaming along with kids one of the favorite character harry potter.