Will AR Gaming Be The New Trend? What To Expect

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AR gaming can soon become the new trend.

Story Highlights
  • AR gaming introduces virtual elements, like game characters and weapons, into the physical world for an immersive experience.
  • The AR gaming market has spiked since COVID-19 and is expected to increase further in the coming years.
  • It is important to be cautious during the AR experience as it can lead to accidents and injuries.

The emergence of Augmented Reality (AR) is a remarkable proof of technological progress. By seamlessly blending virtual elements with the real world, AR delivers immersive experiences to users unlike anything seen before. Will AR gaming become the next big trend? Absolutely! Let’s explore why.

What Is AR Gaming?

AR has massively revolutionized the gaming industry. 15 years ago, who would have thought we could see virtual objects in our physical world? Yet, here we are, with the revolutionary launch of Pokemon Go that got the world out of their homes to catch their favorite Pokemon characters.

AR integrates gaming characters and elements into the player’s physical spaces to create an interactive experience. Unlike VR gaming, which requires players to stay in a closed space, AR gaming encourages them to explore the surrounding environments using GPS data. There are now dedicated accessories, like AR glasses and Microsoft HoloLens, that make AR much more immersive.

Current Analysis 

As per the AR Gaming Market Report by IMARC Group, the AR gaming market touched $11.1 Billion in 2023 and is expected to reach $102.7 Billion by 2032. One factor contributing to AR games’ rising popularity is their integration into smartphones. Since most people own smartphones, they can easily access AR games with handheld devices.

Furthermore, adding AR elements to a traditional game makes it more exciting and interactive. And it sparks an individual’s curiosity to try the latest tech innovations.

AR brings virtual characters to real world
AR Brings Virtual Characters To Real World (Image By Interesting Engineering)

Another research by Report Ocean showed that at present, the Americas, including the US and Canada, holds the biggest market for AR gaming. Moreover, Europe and Asia are investing greatly in developing new AR tools and gadgets to extend the experience to their masses. Consequently, we will witness a huge upward surge in the AR market size in the upcoming years.

Aspects Of AR Gaming That Make It Stand Out

A UK Mobile Gaming Market Report by Mintel showed that over a quarter of mobile gamers are interested in seeking out AR games. There are multiple aspects linked to AR gaming that make it different from traditional games. For instance, introducing digital elements into physical surroundings is a mind-blowing concept that will leave you in awe every time you experience it. 

Games like Pokemon Go require players to enter the outside world and discover places they might not have done before. It also allows them to interact with fellow players and complete challenges together. Overall, it fosters a sense of community and a shared love for AR.

Laato et al. (2021) studied how imagination and sociality with other players affect the meaningfulness of AR gaming for players. They found that imagination, nostalgia, affection towards the game content, and social involvement were the main factors that attracted the players to AR games, making their experience more meaningful.

AR Promotes Imagination
AR Promotes Imagination (Image By Genesis Augmented Reality)

Apart from these, integrating AR and gamification into educational settings can benefit students. A meta-analysis by Lampropoulos et al. (2022) concluded that using AR gaming improved students’ interest, motivation, active participation, knowledge acquisition, and curiosity in achieving learning outcomes.

Risks Involved

While advancements in tech bring us closer together, every tech device comes with potential risks we need to be careful of. In AR gaming, immersion and focus on the gaming world can increase the risks of accidents. After the release of Pokemon Go, there was a substantial increase in reported injuries, road accidents, and vehicle damages near the gaming locations called PokeStops (Faccio & Connel, 2018).

Playing AR Games While Driving Can Cause Accidents
Playing AR Games While Driving Can Cause Accidents (Image By Bressman Law)

Furthermore, AR gamers might be at a higher risk of developing gaming addiction, given the interactive nature and heightened appeal of these games. (Das et al., 2017). Once developed, gaming addiction can be difficult to overcome.

Conclusively, no matter how much you enjoy the AR gaming experience, be attentive to your surroundings and avoid putting yourself in harm’s way. With all the evidence in mind, I think the AR gaming trend is here to stay as more and more developers integrate this feature into their game designs.

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