Designer Malte Jehmlich may have invented one of the wittiest “video games” we’ve ever seen: Racer, which uses a real RC car, on a real RC track, which you control inside an old-time arcade-game booth.
It’s a pretty simple set-up, really: The track, which is about 25’x30′, is made of discarded refrigerator boxes; the RC car has video camera affixed to its body. Inside the arcade booth, you get a first-person perspective of driving the car, and you control it with a steering wheel. On screen, there’s time tracking and menus, making the gameplay feel like an honest-to-goodness old school racing game–and in fact, the entire game is an homage to Wipe Out.
The idea behind Racer is pretty similar to that of the Parrot AR Drone, an RC helicopter that’s you can control on an iPhone, and which creates a “video game” out of real-world surroundings. But we have to say, the lo-fi simplicity of Racer makes it look a lot cooler, and a lot more fun.
We wonder: With the rise of AR, is this just the beginning of video games that have one foot in the real world, and one foot in cyberspace?