LARP, Augmented Reality’s Big Daddy?

How many times has humanity wished that it could pull something from it’s tired head, into the world with clear cognition, almost exclusively reserved for the savant. With help though, group thought, some of those barriers can be brought down. That’s right, the games of the future, in AR at least. will find their roots in LARP.

The most astounding thing that LARP had, a custom narrative controlled by the player, was it’s solid domain.

Any world that needs to be built in video games requires some fundamental glue to connect the narrative to the world. World of Warcraft, ESO, Star Trek Online – they all have that glue that holds worlds together, a great narrative. We are spoiled though, and at some point we reached a bit further. With popular LARPing like, Vampire the Masquerade, it has already brought people together who wouldn’t ordinarily meet. This seems to be a cultural norm in Pokemon Go, when Ingress a mildly popular game, did similar Geo-based rewards for players. Heck, even the backend of Pokemon Go is built in Ingress network topological constructs. The most astounding thing that LARP had, a custom narrative controlled by the player, was it’s solid domain. Until 1999 & Half-Life that is.

Half-Life was released in 1998, and not too many years later, many people got hold of the code of half-life and started making custom maps for deathmatch…the most famous being Counter-Strike, originally two guys messing with the game — now it’s own franchise played by millions. What this was, was the first time people outside the video game production team could edit the narrative, begin to create their own rules, and feel more a part of how it’s held together. Mods (or modifications to the original game) soon became seen as a feature, not a Intellectual Property Firesale as players were given more and more tools to modify their world…tools that made understanding how to build the worlds easy, and intuitive. Entire new forms of games popped up, with some Mods being more popular than the original games themselves. Enter, Minecraft.

There’s an element missing in Minecraft that WoW has that we all need in a good world glue. That’s a narrative.

Build it, because you probably can build it in Minecraft. This overwhelmingly popular nuts and bolts game give you a few simple rules, and lets you make nearly unlimited structural changes to the way your world is build. It changed everything as even the goal of the game was whatever you wanted it to be. The world was yours to create.

There’s an element missing in Minecraft that WoW has that we all need in a good world glue. That’s a narrative. A person can’t be responsible to make up their own story all the time, or it’s not enough like real life. We are a social species and require input from others, or rather prefer it to being alone. We like conflict in our world, it’s a feature we expect out of entertainment as well. Future video games need that narrative, in any story. LARPing sees it’s progeny as AR+Minecraft+LARPing. That is…the future of video games is an online MMORPG with location based services, actual interaction with others, and a pre-defined narrative that the players shape. End of story, it’s just like life at that point so, buckle up on that point. LARPing gave us the narrative and structure so that augmented reality could pull our minds’ glimpse out and become our savant.

LARP, Augmented Reality’s Big Daddy?

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About The Author
- 2006 Graduate of Columbia University in the City of New York, with a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) in the field of Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics. After realizing the implications of the “Big Data” age, he has focused on lifting the veil on SEO, digital advertising, & traditional media.