At the recent Casual Connect Conference in San Francisco I spoke about the future importance of “Wearables” like Google glasses and some of the arm, wrist and angle bracelets that detect heart rate, location and perhaps movement. The response to my prognostication was not well received with many traditional gamers dismissing this as just another “gimack” that would not be adopted by consumers or gamers. This response surprised me a bit and demonstrated the traditional mentality of game developers. Clearly, they believe the console still rules and perhaps traditional RPG/Emergence games as reigning forever.
However, when I attended the wearables conference in San Francisco a month later there was an entire session on wearables and gaming. I thought for a brief moment that I had been vindicated and in fact there was some development in this area. A company representative from Mind Pirate spoke and appeared to be out in front of the wearable gamer curve with prognostications about using virtual reality/google glasses and entire headset wearables to leverage the new input devices that could bring gaming to a new level.
However, subsequent discussions on the wearable panel discouraged me a bit indicating that the wearables would simple be used to re-hash old games played on consoles in a new virtual reality setting. This seemed to me a bit deflating because I suspect that the wearables certainly will be used to spice-up traditional console games. However, with the ability to mix reality and virtual reality together with body readings such as heart rate, body temperature , etc, the degree of personalization of ones own body reaction to the game and opposing or collaborating players should set games off into a different direction and result in new games being created for existing and new audiences. The new audience crowd is a very important from a commercial perspective. Overall, the game community has struggled broadening the reach of games with the exception of the Nintendo Wii.
Let’s hope wearables will be adopted by a new set of developers that have not been prejudiced by the current game development community. I would really like to see something new and innovate games emerge from the merger of wearable input and connectively to body processing information.
Kevin Flood is the CEO of Gameinlane, Inc. Kevin writes about online games and their impact and integration into iGaming and E-commerce environments. Kevin is a frequent speaker at online game events and conferences in Asia, Europe and the US. Kevin and his Gameinlane team are currently working with online gambling, social gaming and e-commerce companies integrating social gaming with online gaming operations and integrate game mechanics into e-commerce applications.
Wearables Influence On Gaming