Saturday, February 11, 2012

Future Games

I'm continuing my topical leadup to my trip to Toy Fair in NYC. My last post was about bad toys from the past. Now it's time to look at the more promising future of toys & games.

With the prevalence of smart phones & touchscreen computers, digital gaming is an unstoppable force in personal entertainment.
I see my little nephews & other toddlers easily navigating iPhone apps, and it seems inevitable that human interfacing with electronics will only increase in the future.

However, as long as we inhabit the physical realm, there will always be the need for physical interaction- with humans & objects alike.
The appeal of a tangible products or items is not going away anytime soon. That's why I think there's alot of potential for games or other applications that are a hybrid of physical and digital attributes.

I saw this cool demo on Neatorama of a game that uses a touchscreen playing surface & physical game pieces. It's called the ePawn Arena:

Searching for other instances of digital game boards, I came across this prototype by Philips Electronics from a few years ago:

As we become more enmeshed with electronic devices, it will become more "natural" to interact with virtual interfaces that augment our physical senses, intelligence, & consciousness.

At some point, if people engineer a truly symbiotic connection with future digital devices, like an 'Apple iThink', it will be interesting to see how perceptions of the virtual and physical worlds are combined in the mind of the person.

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