Reality Games are emerging more from Augmented Awareness than Augmented Reality.
The ubiquitous all seeing data eye - our x ray eyes have turned out to be carried around in our pockets or integrated into our clothes and not worn as AR eyewear, at least yet.
There is barely a trace of AR’s Gothic stepsister VR in the Google Project Glass pitch which is super simple and seems to be aimed at optimizing Pinterest like social shopping experiences, by taking photos and videos from your direct eye-line and disseminating them through Google +
But seeing with shared eyes is what makes AR technology super interesting
“The internet allowed us to think with shared memory…Augmented Reality will allow us to see with shared eyes.” Jesse Schell, ARE2010
And for the moment we are looking at the most intimate aspects of ours lives only as an opportunity for optimization and efficiency, (try out the Heart Rate app – if you hold your finger up against the camera an you will get a pretty accurate reading) .
But as the explorations of makers, hackers and self trackers move out into consumer culture the quantified self is ripe for new forms of expression http://www.electricfoxy.com/projects/modwells/
The term “gamification” has been worn out already . We sense its shallow inadequecy. So what’s next?
As Will Wright puts it, “games are getting more and more personal to the point that our actual lives are becoming the most interesting gaming platform. "
Will points out, we are at a turning point for mobile gaming.- a shift for games from being about simulating reality to being about parsing reality.
I want to sprinkle some New Aesthetic fairy dust on this shift for games from simulating to parsing reality.
If you haven’t already drunk at the New Aesthetic fountain you have some googling to do after this session – start with James Bridle’s Tumblr which he has already closed (very New Aesthetic!) and Bruce Sterling’s essay http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2012/04/ perhaps.
The New Aesthetic collection of images is an amazing inspiration for exploring the possibilities of feedback loops between people and machines – a reflexive augmented awareness where we play with modes of digital seeing.
I think AR and digital seeing is in need of a New Aesthetic more than most technologies because augmentation implies that we have an idea of what is aesthetically valid at a given time and place, and that we have a position. We need some idea of the difference between augmented and degraded reality, and machinomorphic and anthropomorphic modes of perception.
Howie Woo’s “in yo face facial recognition” project (pic in my opening slide too), uses crochet + cunning to transform facial recognition into a reality game http://woowork.blogspot.ca/2012/03/in-yo-face-facial-recognition.html
Reality Games can give us new opportunities to explore the free play in the system.
Please see my speaker