Everybody’s talking about Pokémon Go! The augmented reality game isn’t even (officially) available in Canada yet but it’s taking the country by storm. In the US, the game already has more users than Tinder and Twitter.
Augmented reality is a real-world view that is supplemented (augmented) by computer-generated elements such as sound, images, graphics or video.
OCAD U faculty member Emma Westecott is a world leader in gaming and game design. She was a programmer and then producer for the best-selling Starship Titanic game.
“Pokémon Go is a game changer as it marks the evolution of a classic gaming brand on to new platforms using new technologies,” Westecott says. “To become mainstream, any new technology needs widespread adoption, and the fan base brought to augmented reality by passionate Pokémon players provides that.”
Games have always been used to introduce new technology to markets, Westecott says. “I think it has taken a while to get the technologies working together reliably. GPS is a fairly mature technology, whilst augmented reality is much newer. Getting them working together reliably enough to handle the amount of Pokémon users Go has is non-trivial.”
“The popularity of Pokémon Go will trigger an explosion of augmented reality collecting games. Perhaps more interestingly, it will bring an exploration of different genres of games in augmented reality and the mixed reality game sector.”
Discover three Pokestops at OCAD U and battle it out at a Pokémon gym, located by the mural on the outside of our Student Gallery. You can also learn more about augmented reality and game design in our undergraduate and graduate Digital Futures programs.