Remember all the way back to Doom and Wolfenstein, and the thrill of blowing away bad guys on a computer as if you were in their virtual world? Well, it's the 21st Century now, and you can do it all in Augmented Reality.
With a certain kind of inevitability, software house Shadowforce has translated the first-person shooter genre into a through-the-camera-lens augmented reality app that works on the iPhone. It works with one to four players, uses the iPhone's camera to view the real world and is smart enough to work out when you've "shot" an enemy successfully (the phone vibrates when you make a kill). This is no "shoot the bad guy made of pixels" game, you see. And it's called Gunman.
Cue the countdown to a some kind of law suit in 3...2...1...
Shadowforce is calling it the first first-person AR shooter for the phone that does all the detail of enemy recognition and corpse-counting for you. And though I'm being more than a little facetious here, it's actually going to appeal to people (I'm guessing in the college freshman age group). And, more than that, it's a very early indicator of how AR might revolutionize game-play—with the sort of digital reality overlaid on top of reality tech that makes AR tick. The possibility for AR game play is almost limitless, of course, and as yet exactly how far it might evolve is hard to predict—which is pretty much true of many aspects of AR tech, as we've noted often before (or possibly not). Let's just hope that its evolution stops short of Existenz-style AR/VR/Real Reality mashups, eh?