With augmented reality — think Pokémon Go or Microsoft HoloLens — possibly taking off in 2017-2018, I thought I’d spend a moment pondering the ramifications.
First, there is no guarantee this will be big in 2017-2018. Though Pokémon Go already took off, it did not involve new hardware. So I’m really talking about new devices, such as HoloLens and Magic Leap. Well, Magic Leap maybe not so much, according to some recent reports.
Second, I’m referring to consumers. If you look at occupations and business, augmented reality is already infiltrating that world. For example, Dutch police are trying out augmented reality in investigations.
Finally, suppose that augmented reality does become big with consumers over the next couple of years. Games will no doubt be a large part of that business. I remember when “Night Trap” (early 90’s, Digital Pictures for Sega CD) was the target of press and concerned adults who didn’t think it was proper to have games that featured young women in scanty clothing. Now that’s tame compared to the graphic violence in some 3D games.
But what about suggestions of sexual promiscuity or violence in an augmented reality, which consists of both a virtual world (graphics) and the real world (in a building or out on the street)? We get a little bit of an idea of what to expect in terms of research, backlash, and opinions from a recent article on Aeon.co entitled “Murder in virtual reality should be illegal.” Although it is about virtual reality, it is food for thought, whether you are planning on making augmented reality games with violence, playing them, or letting your child play games like that. It is certainly the stuff of science fiction.
In my science fiction writing I’ve touched on related subjects in my stories “Face Facts” and “RemoteDoc”. “Face Facts” explores a possible side effect of a futuristic facial recognition restoration surgery, while “RemoteDoc” looks at a possible future of robotic surgery. You’ll find “RemoteDoc” in my latest anthology “Science Fiction: Time Travel and Robots 2“.