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"User Experiences" and Real-Life HUDs

It's not a video game anymore. In marketing it's now called a "user experience." Personhole cover, anyone?
The September 7, 2009 issue of Advertising Age has an interesting article on the new paradigm of video game user experience marketing. The article focuses on EA and the new Tiger Woods game, PGA Tour 10. Gone are the days of the month-and-a-half frenzy before a game comes out, followed by a cooling-down period afterwards. Today, the strategy is to feed you Tiger Woods (for example) every day of every week of every month, all year. Can't play on your PS3? Play on your PSP! Can't play on your Wii? Play on your DS! There's likely even an iPhone game (if there's not, there should be).

Ubiquity is the word, I think.

And here's the feedback loop I mention so often: we expect things instantly, so game companies (though they are not alone in this) give it to us; we enjoy; we expect things instantly-er; we get it; we enjoy; we expect things instantly-er-er; we get it...

It's a vicious cycle, but it works.

One thing that I got to thinking about when I saw the "user experience" title was the recent "Augmented Reality" concept. The one I saw was called Layar (I know, this is soooo three months ago), but it really struck me as having a great deal of potential. It reminded me of Patricia Rowan's visual overlay in the Rifters trilogy. Now if only we can get a Bluetooth contact lens (which, according to the author of Maelstrom, has been around for over a year). I want! I want! I want!

Check out a video of Layar, the Augmented Reality phone app. Real-life HUD. Very cool.

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