Sunday List: Five games revamped for the augmented reality experience.

With the success of Pokémon GO and all of the hoopla over the idea of these augmented reality apps, I wouldn’t be surprised if video game companies would try leasing other properties to smartphone app programmers. I’d like to throw my ideas out there for older games that I would like to see converted into this format. It’s not that I would play them, however—I’m not playing Pokémon GO, either. But I would think that these games would be a lot more fun, and it would be a lot more fun to watch the players.

  1. The Legend of Zelda series. This works especially well in cities with sewers that somebody can go through for the real dungeon experience. Palaces and other government buildings work as well, but the player must be aware that they’ll probably be arrested. Players should also be aware to not throw their smartphones like boomerangs.
  2. Metroid. This is a similar idea to the Zelda game, but geared more towards mine shafts. Morph balls only work for players who can actually do somersaults. To be fair, this would only work with augmented reality tunnels. The grappling gun would be difficult to simulate, though.
  3. Tetris. Admittedly, this could be very easy to make. Just have the blocks falling over the live background. However, a three dimensional element where the player has to spin around to build a wall around themselves would make the game more challenging, as would blocks that contain elements of the live background. (Sorry, this one isn’t as jokey. But as I wrote it I realize that it’s actually a pretty good idea.)
  4. The Grand Theft Auto series. Shooting sequences would work just fine for game sprites superimposed on a real-background, running behind buildings using the phone’s location settings. Plus, a lot of cars are coming with electronic door locks nowadays. Okay, fine, to make this legal think of it as a version of Car2Go, with various types of cars as opposed to smart cars, and the “stealing” could really be in-game purchases. But you actually have to pick the lock, otherwise you don’t get a ride to go anywhere.
  5. Dating Sims. Why not have a coach on your phone while you’re on a real date? You just hold up your phone to the person, and different dialogue boxes appear in front of them so you can chose what you want to say. the program’s A.I. could be programmed to bring up possible responses to what your date is selling. It’s possible to even superimpose a character over your date to make it less of an augmented-reality experience. This would be especially useful when your date walks out on you.
  6. Bonus: The Game Genie. This isn’t exactly a game, but what a better way to life hack? Just put in a code, and the phone makes it look everybody around is phone jumping. Be careful when using the “invincibility” code. It tends to glitch at times, especially when you walk into a car while playing games on your phone.

Friday News Roundup. #turkey #nice #pokemongo

In which I offer my take on some of the week’s news. I can’t promise I’ll hit everything.

  • I’m writing this as news is pouring in at the coup attempt in Turkey. It’s really too early to offer any comment, but I can’t say that I’m terribly surprised. From what little I know of Turkey it doesn’t seem like the government has a high level of support from multiple sides. Turkey is often hailed for it’s mix of both old and new and of both Eastern and Western cultures. Just recently I read a book that challenges the traditional point of view that Western is Modern, and that several different modernities are possible—using Turkey as a case study. While that can lead to a lot of cultural diversity I have to wonder how strong a system has to be to maintain stability in such an area. It’s only a general impression but like I said, it’s too early to really make any real remarks about what’s happening now.
  • The biggest story of the week so far appears to be the attack in Nice. Obviously I condemn such violence and terror and I’m morally disgusted at all of the lives that were taken. But given all of that, I have to wonder if there’s any footage of the attack. I don’t ask for my own entertainment. There’s action movies for that. But given the novelty of the attack, it would be interesting to study what happens to crowds of humans when a truck plows through them in such a way.
    But that thought aside, how many more attacks is France going to take? How many attacks is Europe going to take? I wish I had the answers to what could be done. As a pacifist I have  hard time coming up with peaceful solutions. Even if there is violent retaliation against terrorists, is there an endpoint to all of this? Or are we just in a perpetual state of violence and terror as human beings?
  • Up until the attack in Nice, the biggest news story this week seemed to revolve around the game Pokémon Go. It’s a neat premise but one that I’m not going to involve myself with. My primary reason, as always, is because everybody else is doing it. However, I don’t need yet another company tracking my movements so they can learn what kind of consumer I am. That information is out there. They don’t need to research me directly. I could go on about them selling that information to the government but it’s really too late to worry about something that now.
  • Speaking of video games, Nintendo announced the release the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition. Here’s yet another thing made out of plastic to tempt you to waste your hard-earned paycheck. I want one.
  • A big American news story this week, one which happened locally to me, is that Bernie Sanders officially gave his support to Hillary Clinton. I can’t say that I didn’t see this coming months ago. As I have said, I like his rhetoric better but I don’t trust him any more than the others. Which ever of the two leading Democratic nominees wins, I’m voting for in November. None of this has anything to do with what I think of Hillary Clinton. In this case, voting for the lesser of two evils really is voting based on my conscience.