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Beyond AR HUD Glasses: Eight Platforms for 21st Century Games

by Joshua Darlington on 09/26/12 10:57:00 pm   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Here is a quick survey of some emerging game platforms that will be important over the next couple decades.   

1. Social media: A player’s social profile and social network are valuable game content inputs.  If you have a free window into the player’s soul, you can really engage them.  If you combine this new source of player data with quest dynamics you have a super fun way to drive social collision and social discovery.  Social graph structure and triple stores seem like an ideal fit for narrative design.  AI characterization will not catch up to human level awesomeness for a couple decades, and social media has great potential to fill that gap.

2. Camera phones: Cognitive surplus is replacing premium content.  Traditional transglobal media companies are waking up to discover that user provided content is a much better business model than paying experts to craft premium products.  The new mass media model is intermediation rather than broadcast.  That means there is a huge opportunity in providing consumers the tools they need to craft their own films and TV shows.  The obvious way to do this is to offer customers productivity enhancing templates for their own (reality) shows.  The best engine for smart phone video and camera capture could be a quest system. 

3. Video Chat: Chat Roulette has already proved that video conferencing is a great platform for social games.

There is a big opportunity to expand the expressive language of video chat with fun graphics, animated emoticons, and playful sound effects.   With computer vision software new forms of disguise will open up a new language of video chat social media role playing games.  Video chat quests could be an emerging form of talk shows.

4. HUD Glasses: Google, Microsoft, Sony, Nokia and others have announced plans to release smart glasses in the next couple years.  Portable head mounted display greatly increases the utility of augmented reality.AR HUD video games have been around at least since Quake was turned into a pervasive game by University students in Australia.

The ability to create and share layers of reality opens up a wide range of crafting capabilities.  Home decorations and costume parties are two areas about to revolutionized by the AR explosion.  Head mounted pervasive camera and microphone systems will open up new forms of collaboration.  All the capabilities can be fed into games, organized systems of play, and general entertainment.  Glasses and ARG are made for each other.

5. Windshield AR for Robot Cars: Just today California became the third state to legalize autonomous vehicles.  As drivers take a hands free approach to driving, the windshield will increasing become an AR browser and game platform.  LIDAR can be a new AR game input.

6. Drones and robots: Drones and robots are starting to enter the domestic market.  Some obvious directions for robot games and drone entertainment are combat, dancing, camera quests.

7. Ubiquitous computing: Gesture based home operating systems can be a fun platform for haunted houses games.  As holographic interfaces increase in power, we will begin to realize the dream of the living room holodeck.

8. 3D printers:  Crafting in games can become crafting in reality.  The popularity of Minecraft shows that new categories of games based off of 3D printing could take off.

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