Week 9: How Multimedia, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality comes together

So we learnt about Multimedia, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality this week! If we look at the the advances in technology through the years, it seems like a very natural shift from increasing the engagement senses (Multimedia), so much so as to want to immerse ourselves in the wonder and possibilities of the virtual world (Virtual Reality) to trying to bring that wonder to our real lives (Augmented Reality). Whilst AR is all the rage today about how it will change our lives in so many ways, today, my post will focus on how it all comes together in the world of games.


I think multimedia has already become a part of our everyday lives, which is a wonder given how young the technology is. We are no longer surprised by it because apps, games and even shop directories are multimedia. We have become so used to engaging different senses at once, that if we have only one sense engaged, we get bored easily.Multimedia games came with sound, pictures, and video. Today, all these are a given in any computer games we have. I think my generation really witnessed the growth of this through the games we play from our childhood.

Virtual Reality Games Through the Years, not that I know many...

Some Games Through the Years, not that I know many…

Virtual Reality

As the technology advances to a point where we can bring our imagination to life, albeit in the virtual world, why wouldn’t we want to stay in it?  The next level from multimedia games is virtual reality. The games get more real and more interactive. Besides the usual sight and hearing, movement is now incorporated in through the Nintendo Wii, Xbox Kinect etc.

I am typing this post while my brother is back for the weekend. He grew up on computer games and now, he spends most of his time on the computer when he’s home. He insists that I should put in one of the game trailers to show how advanced games have become. (I think he just wants to justify how interactive and thus addictive for him to be so obsessed with his games.)

I am really quite impressed with the quality of the trailers, they are very life-like, with lots of attention to detail, and the cinematography is pretty fantastic as well! He also shows me how the game world is like, and how he, as a player, can interact with the world realistically, such as climbing buildings, picking up objects, talking to people. In the newer games, every decision you make has different consequences which lasts till the end of the game. Thus each player’s experience can be very different!

With such realistic and complete worlds created, there are technology that immerses you in the virtual world such as headsets and sensors. Did you know that Facebook has just bought over Oculus Rift VR, a gaming headset company? I think this technology is going to come to the mainstream consumer sooner than we think!

oculus riftfacebook_62996

Augmented Reality

As the virtual world gets more and more realistic, the next level is merging the virtual and the real world together, to bring the possibilities that the virtual world offers to our reality.

Google is considered to be investing quite a bit in AR, with the hyped-up Google Glass already in work. They have also brought the level of gaming up by incorporating the technology of AR through the game Ingress.

It is a near-real time AR Massively Multiplayer Online Pervasive game that is global! Players have to choose between 2 factions and create and take back portals and territories in real-world locations by actually moving to them and scanning with the mobile phone app. It is pretty cool and has gathered quite a big following, even in Singapore. Since May 2013, there were more than 500,000 members globally!

So as we can see, the world of gaming has been growing and evolving with the help of multimedia in the beginning, and the possibilities are even more expanded by the rise of VR and AR through various technologies and more importantly, our imagination and creativity!