Chess Player Augmented Reality: Video Game

A big issue with learning is making the environment where learning takes place fun.  This often poses a problem because subjects such as history, and ancient literature seem to be a bit dull, at least in my eyes.  This can be applied to most peoples idea of learning in schools.  I feel subjects like chemistry and physics tend to be more exciting solely because they have labs where you learn concepts by doing experiments in real life.  Whether this be spinning a ball around a circle to learn about centripetal force(physics) or mix certain elements to produce a chemical reaction(chemistry).  The reason why I bring all this things into this discussion is because these subjects use interactive ways to teach students certain concepts in those subjects.  The system that was set up by these Spanish engineering students set up makes a game like chess seem more exciting.  When I first played chess, I was bored within minutes because the game requires patience, strategy, and planning and I didn’t want to take the time to properly develop strategies to beat my friends who had been playing for years.  However, this augmented reality provides the user the information of what moves he can make and how those moves will affect future moves.  It provides a fun way for the user to learn strategies to conquer their opponents.  A common question may be asked like “Well, that has already been done on the computer where a user just uses a computer screen to do the same thing?” My answer to that is this new augmented reality set up provides a new and cool way of doing it.  The Nintendo Wii provided a new way for people to play video games and it became an instant hit.  However, it provided the same video game means that people wanted to play.  Who knew bowling or baseball could be so much fun.  This augmented reality kit provides a new way and cool way for users to learn to play chess while also learning how to create strategies for success.  This augmented reality should be applied to different types of subjects to will allow students to have hands on learning like physics and chemistry.

One can find the link to the article below:

realistic videogames vs. videogames in reality

This music video will rock your “what if” world.  Bonus points if you know the game.  Double bonus if you actually played… (no, bonus points do count towards your grades.)

Augmented Reality in Fiction

We’re talking about augmented reality games in class this week. We’re also going to be discussing Ender’s Game soon, which is a novel that explores themes relevant to this class. In that spirit, here are four novels from the last decade that feature augmented reality as themes or important plot features.

The first is William Gibson’s Spook Country, which features augmented reality in the form of locative art. These are art installments, tied to a place by GPS technology, that require a virtual reality rig to access. In the novel, the installments are about augmenting the experience of visiting a given space.

Spook Country is a great novel, but it isn’t about games. The next three are.

Rainbows End Cover

Vernor Vinge’s Rainbows End is about games and education. The protagonist is Robert Gu, who at the start of the novel has been cured of Alzheimer’s disease. He has to relearn a lot and to learn many new things including wearable computing and augmented reality interfaces. His granddaughter is well-versed in these technologies and uses them for school and play. Their different takes on the same technology are interesting in terms of what we’ve been discussing in class. Another compelling idea in the novel is the idea of belief circles, which are competing virtual realities.

Daniel Suarez’s Daemon and its sequel, Freedom(tm), are techno thrillers dealing with network security. The second novel in particular is relevant to our interests, as it’s about a shadow U.S. economy that takes the form of a Massively Multiplayer game. People earn reputation in the system, which translates into power. They access the system using wearable computing. It’s life itself as an augmented reality game.

Rainbows End is a novel that takes place in the future, but both Suarez’s novels and Spook Country take place in the present. It’s fascinating to watch the interplay between how available technology plays out in fiction and how fiction influences technology.

Augmented Reality

So, Eric K. spoke about how we can use mobile phones to augment reality and learning.  There are other groups working on this, not necessarily from a K12 educational standpoint, but from an everyday use and just-in-time / need-to-know learning standpoint….