AR and VR Gaming: Welcome to the Future

August 22, 2017 AR and VR Gaming @TheRoyaleIndia 1016 0 0

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Mobile games have been a constant source of pleasure to mobile phone users ever since their inception. It was with the development of games on mobile phones that they made the transition from purely functional tools to sources of entertainment and leisure. Even though arcade and computer games had been around for decades, the release of a device which could pull off the roles of both your communication as well as entertainment system had a lasting impact on how people perceived phones ever since.

Improvement in graphics has been a constant and visible process. Each year new games are released, each boasting increasing levels of similarity to reality. The rationale behind the design process of every game is to make it as visually similar to real life as possible. Several heavy graphic games such as Halo and Battleground are aesthetically breath-taking, with their razor-sharp graphics and accompaniments such as sound and ambience enthralling audiences.

But over the years, there was an element of stagnation in the realm of gaming. Gamers had become so accustomed to exemplary graphics that nothing surprised them anymore. People were impatient for the next big thing! And a few of the best minds of this generation combined to make this wish come true.

The Gamer and World of Games

The philosophy which defined every step of the research and design process was a desire to make the gaming experience as realistic as possible. The goal was to bridge the gap between the gamer and the world of the game. With the advent of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies, this bridge is well under construction and work is progressing great!

AR and VR Gaming: Welcome to the Future

VR and AR have been around for quite some time, but the perception attached to it was that of a rich man’s leisure activity. From its humble beginnings in 1957, VR has grown and improved in leaps and bounds, with most smartphone manufacturers now offering a virtual reality experience in some form or the other. The opportunity to give the gamer the complete sensory experience of the game world heralded the dawn of a new age in gaming!

Interacting with a virtual world is an awesome experience no doubt! But the actual challenge is combining elements of your immediate surroundings with an artificial world. This is exactly what augmented reality offers. By overlaying your surroundings with images, characters and several other interactive features, this feature has numerous functional advantages as well as being pure fun! Enhancing interaction and physical activity by actually making people want to go out and explore how this technology works in tandem with their actual world is just a few of its myriad benefits!

How pivotal this technology is to the future of society in general can’t be stressed enough! This technology has infinite scope for exploration, and 2017 was a year of pleasant surprises and extreme innovation in the field of immersive and interactive technology. The popularity of this technology is evident in the unimaginable response to Pokemon GO!

Gotta Catch The Entire Market!

The English language lacks superlatives to describe the impact Pokemon GO! Had! Not on just gaming, but society in general. Yes, the word society isn’t an understatement, because it changed the lifestyle of entire regions. People began to plan their routes and days based on which ones were more productive in terms of Pokemon captures and with Pokestops on the way. There have been instances of accidents caused by “Pokemon trainers” glued to their phone and unaware of their surroundings, and playing the game in inappropriate places such as places of worship. A Russian blogger was even charged for insulting a place of religion by hunting for Pokemon in a Church!

This game is so addictive that even the Prime Minister of Norway was caught looking for Pokemon in Parliament! Within just a fortnight of its release, the game earned 35 million $, with projections for the next year looking very rosy for the company indeed.

Developed by the Pokemon Company in association with Niantic, a previous subsidiary of Google, this path breaking games allows users to actually set out hunting for Pokemon. It allows them to use their GPS and camera features to catch several cute Pokemon in their immediate vicinity. The user can choose between a GPS mode which doesn’t combine the game with your surroundings, but still, needs you to scour several areas looking for Pokemon. The AR mode, using your camera, lets you actually see Pokemon interacting with your surroundings. This feature has proved to be the biggest selling point, and has users literally clambering over each other to use this game!

A Nightmare for Developers

The sheer number of people playing this game has turned it into a logistical nightmare for the developers. Providing a smooth gaming experience for the millions playing it every day is a near-impossible task, and the developers have had to compromise on quality in order to satisfy the millions for whom the game has now become a necessity! In spite of initially geo blocking the game in several locations in order to provide better quality services for a smaller set of gamers, people in remote regions found shortcuts and hacks to continue playing the game! This is a testament to how completely this game has captured people’s hearts!

As of now, the game is available on both the App Store as well as Play Store in India, and its popularity shows no sign of fading anytime in the near future .Several factors have contributed to this game’s astounding success. The popularity of the Pokemon brand had already generated huge buzz well prior to the release of the game, but it was primarily among Pokemon enthusiasts. Once people actually got a taste of the AR tech, there was no looking back! People crowding over monuments and other places of interest, smartphones out and searching all over with more efficiency and attention detail than Sherlock himself have all become common sights in most cities of the world.

The designers have pulled off a masterstroke by offering all these AR services in a data efficient manner. On an average, this game uses 5-6 MB per year. For the amount of fun this provides, this amount of data is a pittance! Compared to data heavy games such as Asphalt and Counter Strike, this game guarantees more smiles per MB!

No More Interia

The need to actually move and interact with your surrounding also eliminates the guilt factor associated with gaming to a great extent. Much of the blame and abuse aimed at gamers is on the basis of their lack of physical activity. The interactive nature of Pokemon GO! Is getting even the laziest of gamers to set out in search of Pokestops and Pokemon! Several people have claimed an increased level of physical activity after downloading the game.

These games have also encouraged an increased level of interaction between people! People from all walks of life now have a common topic of discussion, and in a way, Pokemon GO has broken several barriers and eased tensions in several areas. People are so hooked to the game, they don’t have time to get angry or offended! Even loners and depression patients have found it easier to talk and connect with people through this game!

AR and VR Gaming: Welcome to the Future

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The benefits of this game are endless, with more and more people using it in new ways every day. Its huge impact also raises this question, if a game can affect life on such an al-encompassing level, what else can this technology be used for?

As Versatile as it Gets

It is undoubted that the maximum scope for exploration is in the gaming industry. Being able to play in your own avatar, being able to move like your character would in the computer-generated game world sounds right out of a sci-fi movie! And it has gamers salivating at the thought of what game developers could think up next!

The success of this game encourages developers to expand their horizons and try out concepts they previously wouldn’t have dared to consider. It guarantees them much more creative license to brainstorm and come up with themes and means to enhance the gaming experience. The need of the hour is to eliminate the safety concerns that have cropped up due to the integration of the game with actual places. Such a merging of two worlds need to be seamless and safe, with a mere warning at the start of the game nowhere near enough! Once this minor worry is addressed, the possibilities for AR and VR in gaming are endless!

Tourism and lifestyle is another field that would greatly benefit from a dose of AR medicine! Enabling a person to access information about a certain place using his camera equipped with AR tech would take the pleasure if exploring a city or country to the next level. Getting information about a place as you explore it enables you to discover much more about a place than you would otherwise while ensuring you do not miss out on anything the location has to offer.

Medicine, entertainment and education are but a few of the fields that would greatly benefit from the incorporation of AR and VR Tech. Actually, getting involved with a particular situation allows people to understand concepts and their applications better, which is precisely what this technology facilitates. AR and VR tech would allow smoother and more concise flow of information!

Gaming: The Next Big Marketing Fad

Several brands have cashed in on the popularity of this game. By allowing themselves to be associated with the brand, and allowing Pokestops and gyms on their premises, brands such as Dominoes have been able to generate greater visibility and footfalls. This example has since been followed by various brands with varying levels of success.

The success of this marketing model provides fodder for thought. Brands could seek to include the immersive AR experience in their overall package. This would help them distinguish themselves from their competitors while enhancing their desirability and ensuring customer satisfaction.

The Future of Gaming is Safe

After Pokemon GO burst onto the scene and took the world by storm, the resultant wave of publicity and excitement has sent several developers into creative mode! AR and VR is being viewed as the next big thing, and no stone is being left unturned to improve and perfect the overall experience of these devices! From VR on phones to TV’s, their use is gradually expanding, and the sheer convenience and effectiveness they guarantee is why people disregard higher costs and myriad logistical issues.

This technology has just arrived, but it sure is here to stay!

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