Google Glass Gaming Possibilities Include Flailing Arms in Public

By Published January 29, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Augmented-reality eyewear Google Glass and its accompanying developer blog recently released a 30-second clip of what they imagine gaming would be like on the AR product.

We've previously covered gaming-centric AR devices, like CastAR, but Google Glass aims to be a bit more mainstream-friendly and more functional on a daily basis. It is more akin to smartphones in this regard, and as such, its gaming will likely be similar (initially, at least) to the more simplistic stepping-stone mobile games.

A few games are featured in the video, but the core mechanic is head-tilt movement or vocal input as the control device. The Balance demo game is an example of this: Players must balance a virtual stack of objects "atop their heads," as it were, by tilting and moving to prevent the objects from tumbling over. A simple tennis game was also presented, where your face is used to return volleys. Presumably this is less painful than real-life tennis, which also utilizes the player's face as a tennis racket.

I think. I'm pretty sure that's how it works. I've read things.

Regardless, the full blog post links to the SDK (or as they call it, GDK) for game developers to begin making games for Glass. Having been in this industry for a number of years now, I'll put myself out there and state that I don't think we're going to see a gaming revolution from Glass; I have a feeling it'll be -- initially, anyway -- simple time-passing games.

Glass comes at a tough time for its caliber of technology. With privacy concerns rampant -- NSA, targeted advertising, Google's forced use of full names for its websites, facebook's business model, and more -- Glass faces some marketing challenges. Google will have to convince its users that they, the company that survives on targeted ads, will not violate privacy at an offensive level.

Some of this has already been resolved in the Glass developer outlines, which have specific restrictions for application developers; the camera's 'lens snap' sound can't be disabled, for one example, so incognito photography won't be possible. Not that such a restriction has stopped anyone in the past, but still, it shows effort.

As for gaming, I just don't see it. It'll be a good time-waster while Google's automated cars are driving us to our work places. The technology shouldn't be ignored, though, because it does have some interesting design implications that could potentially fuel devs' imaginations for more advanced games.

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

Last modified on January 29, 2014 at 2:35 pm
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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