Augmented reality was thrown upon us in recent weeks as Pokemon Go swept across the world. While the game might be marred with glitches and server issues, there’s no doubt that augmented reality has proven a massive success. But what’s next for the technology?
Pokemon Go was a big success because it gave fans of the series the ability to feel like they were living in a world that they had fallen in love with since the 90s. In that case, using existing franchises is most likely to guarantee success, but which of our most loved fictional worlds would work best in augmented reality?
Seeing dinosaurs come to life was a breathtaking moment when Jurassic Park hit the big screen. Thirteen years later, we might as well take the next step and bring them to our own world. But instead of actually releasing raptors into our homes, they could bring them to life through augmented reality. That way, we get to keep living, but experience the awe of watching a Brachiosaurus grazing in the city centre. It would probably be extremely difficult to fit dinosaurs into our world, compared to the tiny Pokemon, but if a solution was found, it might even knock Pokemon Go off of its perch.
This idea may seem insane, but hear me out! Why go looking for colorful critters, when you can make them come to you? Imagine owning your own virtual garden where you can attract creatures full of candy. Think of the joy of a wild Horstachio visiting your house, or the delight in hitting a Sour Shellybean with your shovel. Watching your virtual garden come to life would be a lot more satisfying than seeing it on screen. Perhaps you could even visit other people’s gardens, and leave gifts or traps behind. Viva Pinata was under appreciated, as it has a surprising amount of depth behind it. Releasing Viva Pinata on mobile would be a sweet idea.
Doctor Who has such an overwhelming story universe, yet it is rarely used in video games. It’s about time that we get chance to become Time Lords, and there’s no better way to increase immersion than using augmented reality. Perhaps this would be too ambitious, but imagine being able to see the past through your mobile phone. It would be like peering through a crack in time. You could see whether it really was better back in the day like our grandparents are insistent on claiming. Or perhaps you could use your mobile phone as a sonic screwdriver to help prevent various alien invasions. Instead of squabbling over which Doctor we believe to be the greatest (it’s David Tennant by the way) we could become Time Lords ourselves. What better reason for augmented reality is there?
Games of Thrones
The product marketing manager at Niantic Labs, Archit Bhargava, has admitted that he wants an augmented reality app on Game of Thrones. He’s not alone! He told GameStop, “My personal fantasy is like a Game of Thrones game where Westeros is mapped out on Earth and you join House Stark.” He explained that it would essentially be a virtual board game of Risk, as players compete for territory. Sounds fantastic right? Sure, but after playing this potential game, you’ll forever be paranoid of betrayal. But it’s worth developing more trust issues if you get the chance of sitting on the Iron Throne. Release the dragons!
There are a few parody websites suggesting that Mario Kart is next in line for the augmented reality treatment. Of course downloading something like this onto your satnav would be asking for pile-ups on the motorway (especially if blue shells are included), but it doesn’t mean that this idea doesn’t have potential. Install augmented reality visors into Go-Kart helmets for example, and you have the idea of a lifetime. As long as there’s a controlled environment, a real life Mario Kart race would be extremely fun, especially if items actually affected the other karts. Let’s just hope they don’t take it one step too far and create a Rainbow Road race track…
There’s already a petition, with over 9000 signatures, calling for an augmented reality game of Harry Potter. The petition reads, “In a Harry Potter augmented reality game, you could cast spells in real life. Accio Firebolt! And have a wizard duel with your friends, expelliarmus could disable their app for a few seconds!” It also suggests a more direct Pokemon Go approach, where you could catch magical creatures such as hippogriffs and dragons. That way, Warner Bros. can promote the upcoming film, Fantastic Beasts, while muggles can pretend they have magic powers.
Minecraft is the best suited IP for augmented reality on this list, and so it comes with no surprise that it’s also the only entry (that we know of) to be in production. Augmented reality in Minecraft would turn our world into a LEGO playground. We could manipulate the world around us with our hands rather than a keyboard or controller. This type of game would be best used inside rather than exploring the world like in Pokemon Go, but that doesn’t take anything away from the experience. Watching the Hololens demo of Minecraft in augmented reality really hits home the potential of this technology, and we can’t wait to see which games follow the success of Pokemon Go.
So there’s the franchises that we believe would be best suited to augmented reality. Do you agree? What fictional world do you want to be brought to life through augmented reality? Leave your comments below.
Ryan Jones is a writer for The Game Bolt. Being a Welshman doesn’t mean he only has sheep in his heart, as he loves film, tv and video games. Follow him on Twitter.