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Title: From the Desktop to the Tabletop: Bringing Virtual Games into the Physical World
Authors: Watts, Cody
Sharlin, Ehud
Keywords: Computer Science
Issue Date: 31-Oct-2006
Abstract:  Realism has become the watchword for modern games games now boast realistic lighting effects, realistic physics, realistic animation systems and realistic AI. Realism is highly sought, simply because a realistic game is a compelling one; as games become more and more indistinguishable from reality, gamers are more willing to suspend disbelief, and to lose themselves in the game world. When the idea of realistic gaming is taken to the logical extreme, one tends to imagine something akin to holodeck from Star Trek a perfect immersive experience which could reproduce the sight, sound, and touch of any scenario. Why is it that modern games fall short of the perfect immersion provided by the holodeck? Graphics are the most obvious discrepancy. Admittedly, the imagery produced by the holodeck is much better than anything we can reasonably create today. But if modern games were to attain perfect graphical photorealism, would this alone create a holodeck-like experience for the player? Obviously not; a key component of the experience is still missing namely, a sense of physical immersion. Although modern games are more realistic than ever before there exist two constraints which have served to limit the player s sense of immersion since the advent of videogaming itself. First, in conventional gaming action is constrained to a flat display space, usually a video monitor. The game experience is confined to a screen, seldom going beyond and engaging the player in the external, physical world. Second, the player s ability to interact with the game is usually tied to an arbitrary input device such as a mouse, keyboard or game pad. The player is never free to act on the game world directly. Instead, he or she must issue all commands through this intermediary device. It is our belief that mixed reality a field of research which attempts to integrate virtual entities into a user s physical environment can address both of these problems simultaneously. Due largely to advances in hardware and software, implementing mixed reality is now more accessible and affordable than ever before. In this paper we attempt to illustrate the potential that mixed reality has for gaming and through a simple videogame implementation, Save Em, demonstrate how easily this technique can be applied.
Appears in Collections:Sharlin, Ehud

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