/  interactive   /  Augmented Reality and Environmental Storytelling

I’ve been someone who’s always been fascinated with video games. I first started playing them when I was in daycare as a small kid. My first games were the original Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt, of which I used the light gun at that time to shoot said ducks.

I’ve also been something who has been fascinated by and interested in good storytelling. Stories are what human beings use to entertain, impart life lessons, and teach others about the world around them. I wrote a lot of stories when I was a kid, and always enjoyed the process.

I feel like the video game industry is finally waking up to the power of good, affective storytelling in games. The problem is that most games are not really conducive to affective storytelling unless the game itself is built in a few specific ways. This is because you exist in a space where you have choices and you control the character in the story. It isn’t like watching television or reading a book. You exist in an environment that you can explore instead, so the way a story will be told in a game is usually as a tacked on element, and often times the stories aren’t that good or interesting.

Augmented reality and virtual reality products are now in their infancy on the global stage. Companies are still trying to figure out the massive issues with how to make them work well, and what the limits are to these are devices for simulations, games, and yes, storytelling experiences.

I think augmented reality is going to be a different animal then a video game, precisely because the way you can approach storytelling is more personal, and yes, also more environmental. The environment is what you actually feel like you’re physically existing in when you’re in a virtual experience. Unlike a video game with rules, an augmented reality experience that incorporates a story can and will be more immersive and personal for the people playing. You’ll have more opportunities to make someone feel like they’re a part of the story.

I’m looking forward to seeing how technology companies approach these possibilities in the future.