Over the weekend, I thought a lot about the blending of worlds. My research paper is on transmedia fiction, and I decided the more worlds are blended for the reader, the more effective the storytelling experience is. Authors of transmedia have a lot of space to work with. They create a fictitious space with characters, but they can also distribute content throughout the real world. The goal of authors is for readers to connect with their content. When content becomes a part of the readers real world, they are likely connect more with the entire story.
I believe this same theory can be applied to augmented reality. As a child, I fell in love with Star Wars. I remember pretending, with my school friends, that we were Star Wars characters. We would “fly” around the playground, and make up of own adventures within the fictitious Star Wars framework. There is something that captivates the child imagination when children blend the real world with fictitious worlds.
This is what interests me about transmedia, but also why I’ve rejected video games. I’ve always held the opinion that video games are too removed from the real world. Being removed from the real world is okay when watching movies. To me, movies are means of escaping. However, when I interact with a game it to be a part of my world. I loved sports, board games, and imaginative playground games as a child.
I believe my negative opinions regarding video games has painting my perception of augmented reality games. Unaware of what they really are, I wrote them off as yet another waste of time. However, if Star Wars augmented reality games existed when I was a child, I would have been a devoted player.
The Star Wars augmented reality game, Falcon Runner, is sold in the iTunes app store for $4.99. The screen of your iPhone shows the 3-D immersive Star Wars world, compatible with the real world around you. What I like about this experience, is the player is able to feel as if the world they are in actually becomes the fictitious world.
Similar to some transmedia experiences, augmented reality allows users to blend their world with a fictitious world. Going back to the make believe Star Wars games I played as a child, I remember loving to pretend my real backyard in the suburbs of Ohio was a part of a planet world in Star Wars. Now, we can use our iPhones to see this imaginative world.