Pokemon Go was a simple spark that started a wildfire. With new technology allowing for virtual reality, augmented reality has also slotted itself within the mix. Considering the fact that augmented reality has been in the works, “from 1968 to 2016” (Augment, 2016) and only just blown out of proportion demonstrates an extremely viable pathway for game developers to step into.
Although both virtual and augmented reality incorporate heavy immersion they are both mediated in alternate ways. The difference is defined in the following:
“Virtual reality is based upon a complete simulation of a real world environment which the user can explore and interact with by means of a head mounted display (HMD) and input device…But with augmented reality the user sees the real world but with the addition of computer generated images which are overlaid on various objects within the real world. They are still aware that they are in the real world as compared to the full immersion in a virtual world.” – Virtual Reality Society
There are a lot of pros to an augmented reality game. Pokemon Go being the core example of this. The game is breaking stereotypes, creating large social groups on media and at meetups.
Figure 1: Society’s stereotyped ‘Gamer’ from South Park
People have seen and dreamed of pokemon in reality and augmented reality is the best way to give them that. Cecilia D’Anastasio conducted interviews with trainers in which one person stated “On social media right now, the only two topics you see are racial inequality and Pokemon Go that showcases exactly how powerful this is, for it to be neck and neck with something as important as social justice.” The reason why this is such a remarkable comment is that it breaks the ‘gamer stereotypes’. With a multitude of game genres still to be tested with augmented reality the question is how far it can be taken after this.
Augment, (2016). Infographic: The History of Augmented Reality – Augment News. [online] Augment News. Available at: http://www.augment.com/blog/infographic-lengthy-history-augmented-reality/
D’Anastasio, C. (2016). Pokémon Go Is Bringing New Yorkers Together. [online] Kotaku.com. Available at: http://kotaku.com/a-documentary-on-how-pokemon-go-is-bringing-new-yorkers-1783922007
Kriss, S. (2016). Resist Pokémon Go | Jacobin. [online] Jacobinmag.com. Available at: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/07/pokemon-go-pokestops-game-situationist-play-children/
Society, V. (2015). How augmented reality works – Virtual Reality. [online] Virtual Reality. Available at: http://www.vrs.org.uk/augmented-reality/how-it-works.html