The age old concept of playing games has been thrown in the cold storage. Now the board games and card games are no more a child’s attraction. Physical games have also received a setback courtesy the invention of Smart Phones, mobile applications and undoubtedly the Virtual and Augmented Reality concepts.
Playing video games is no more a kid’s play. Every individual, irrespective of his/her age group, is spending more of their free time playing video games. They enjoy the surge of adrenaline that rush throughout their body framework, when they are immersed in a hard core action or vehicle race game. The advent of immersive technology and 3D effect created by Virtual and Augmented reality, transports them to a make-believe, computer generated virtual world, giving them a real life experience. This is extremely addictive that keeps the users hooked up with the game for hours together.
This gaming concept is slowly getting adapted into the smartphone handsets. Mobile app development companies are building VR and AR enabled games such as Pokemon GO to excite the user giving them a more immersed interaction with the virtual world. The users need simply to acquire the VR headset and a fitting mobile application to get started with the new experience.
Whether this is a boon or a curse, only the future course of action will reveal. But we can at least have an understanding of the Pros and cons of these two concepts.
What are the Pros of Virtual and Augmented Reality??
- Creating a new generation of more active users- This two concepts have gained huge popularity lately, pulling more and more users into the domain.
- Helps kids to be more expressive and interactive- A recent study at the University of Washington found that virtual reality gaming could actually help “at risk” students. They can create their own virtual reality world where they have a better control over the make believe situations, they can emerge as winners thus giving them a sense of pride and ownership at the end of the play.
- Better than reality- The game simulator transports you to an entirely different world much better than their actual life. They can emerge as heroes within the game. The graphical representations and 3D effect gives an awesome gaming experience.
- A real life and highly interactive user experience
- Shared gaming experience increases socialization- Pokemon Go is a typical example of AR in games. Here this game has benefited the society by bringing players together. This game requires you to emerge out of your homes and they start interacting with other players whom they might otherwise ignore. This factor has helped players with anxiety, depression, or autism etc.
What are the Cons of Virtual and Augmented Reality??
- The business of board games suffered a huge set back- Players prefer playing game on the virtual world individually more compared to spending time sitting with their friends and enjoying a simple board game.
- Rise of ethical dilemma and violent traits among young users- The war and other violent games have many coercive features that changes the very outlook of the players. Specially the young generation easily gets influenced and they feel it is okay to display such aggressive behavior even in public space. They generate a negative message and eliminates the need to have social responsibility and ethical behavior.
- Disassociation of Reality- Players spend so much time immersed in the game, that they fail to differentiate between the real and the virtual world, once they get off the game. This can be a serious problem since that is the sole purpose of VR games is complete immersion.
- Addictive gaming features will lead to health issues- The immersive technology is highly engrossing keeping the players hooked on the game for hours that might end up creating a negative impact on their health. Minimal physical movements might lead to obesity, eye problems, concentration problem in education for young students etc.
- Possibility of fatal injuries or accidents- The usage is unsupervised. This raises the chance of players getting hurt or suffer injuries. People with heart issues might get seriously affected trying horror games.
- Minimal social interaction- Players are so much immersed in the virtual world that they totally ignore the actual world around them. Relationships do get hampered and they emerge as the most unsocial beings.
- Cost factor- The VR head set is quite expensive and many of the smart phone users might not possess such handsets that support VR augmented applications.
The negative factors will not be much different as those of it’s counterpart.
- Mixed reality creates unmindful and careless users- Games like Pokemon Go fits in fictitious, computer generated characters on your mobile screen against the real background. It tracks your current physical location. So while walking down the street, if you play this game, you suddenly witness a fictitious character appearing in front of you. It has an amazing real life impact that engrosses you to the point that you totally ignore the actual world around you. This unmindful behavior leads to fatal accidents Some players have been robbed, stepped into traffic, fell off a cliff, playing the game. People who choose to play Pokémon Go while driving pose even more risks to themselves and those around them.
- Invades privacy- Both the concepts are prone to data hacks and exposing confidential information to external parties, considering the amount of data fed into the virtual environment.
Not every single smart pone user has an access to VR head set or is using the AR and VR featured games. These two concepts have recently started to gain acknowledgment. There is a long journey to cover and many more improvements to make. They have some useful applications in various other sectors. But to answer the question as to whether they have emerged as a blessing or a curse, we have to wait a while before they are fully implemented in every sector of human life.