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Digital and Physical – What Weird and Popular Relationships Does the World Offer?

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 2 April 2019, 11:31 IST

One of the best things about gaming is its capacity for adaption. Rather than existing as a singular monolithic entity, gaming is versatile, often offering multimedia translations of popular properties. While these commonly run the gambit of quality from fantastic to Superman 64, here we want to focus on the good and weird – to take a look at where we stand today and what this could tell us about the future of interactive entertainment.

Escape Rooms

You’ve no doubt seen them advertised recently, as the popularity of these puzzle rooms is now solidified within the mainstream. A quick look on TripAdvisor might surprise you at the sheer quantity of these within your local region alone, but make no mistake – these are popular all over the world. From the imaginatively named Dig This to the less than imaginatively named The Escape Game, these cover a huge range of concepts and ideas.


What people underestimate, however, is just how heavily these borrow from early adventure video games like Gabriel Knight or Sam and Max. These games often functioned in almost the exact same way, locking players in a room with only odd solutions on hand to find an escape. 


Perhaps the most obvious example, but one which we feel offers the best relationship between the physical and digital world. Ever since the early days of the internet, online casino and casino games have been some of the boldest in the engagement of this new frontier.


Bingo stands as an interesting case, as its popularity has become incredibly steady over both digital and physical mediums. Today, businesses like Buzz Bingo offer similar version across both actual parlors and digital storefronts, using bonus deals appropriate to both to help draw in players. Some people prefer to play alone, others go in entirely for the social aspect, and in this these games offer perhaps the strongest modern example of this relationship.


Not the most common example, but one we feel so hilariously bizarre it warranted inclusion. We all know the original version of Pacman, an insatiable yellow monster driven only by his hunger for both pellets and the souls of the recently departed. What you might not know is that there are actual real-life versions of this occasionally popping up within major city centers.

Businesses like Pacmanhatten let players run around a city in search of digital pellets via their cell phones while doing their best to avoid the humans which represent the ever-present ghosts. Silly, funny, and perhaps the best way to burn calories while playing a real-life version of a popular 80’s video game, this one we would love to try.

Just make sure that you only try this out on willing participants, as the alternative, while funny, might not be as well appreciated.


Going Forward

While these are all great examples, we can’t help but wonder what the future might look like when we take into account the world of virtual and augmented reality. These devices, while still a little costly, are rapidly approaching mainstream viability, and with them comes a whole host of untapped real to digital gaming potentials.

In just a few short years we are predicting a common sight in major cities being visor-equipped pedestrians running around and playing pantomime to an invisible menace. Again, silly, again, ridiculous, and again, we can’t wait to have a go for ourselves.


First published: 2 April 2019, 10:38 IST