Google Glass Game Based On An Ant Colony In The WorksBy: Chris Richardson - August 12, 2013
Aside from the novelty of wearing a web-capable recording device on your eyebrow, in order for Google Glass to truly succeed, it will need a killer app that makes it all the more attractive to consumers. While we’ve already seen the first porn made using Google Glass, I’m not sure the average user is going to use it for that particular purpose. That being said, considering the amount of naked selfies electronically traveling around the globe, maybe I’m wrong. Considering Google probably doesn’t want Glass to be resigned to the porn industry, other uses will need to be demonstrated.
With that in mind, what about a massively multiplayer game that puts players in the role of ant who is apart of a larger colony, working together to insure its sustainability? Or, well, any kind of game that makes use of the Google Glass technology? Is that enough to convince consumers Glass is a must-buy? Speculation aside, the details about the game Swarm! are intriguing. The game was developed by Daniel Estrada, a philosophy professor at Illinois State University, and by Jonathan Lawhead of Columbia University. The idea behind Swarm! is to chart players’ movements via GPS data, provided by Glass. These player movements are then mapped out on a Google Map that uses different colors for different players.
The product page explains further:
Swarm! is a Massively Multiplayer Online Augmented Reality Simulation (MMOARS) game in which you are an ant foraging, fighting, and working tirelessly for your Colony and your life! Designed exclusively for Glass, Swarm! can be played with minimal user input or updates while allowing for an immersive team gaming experience with surprising strategic depth. Swarm! takes full advantage of Glass’ innovative design to provide a glimpse not only of the future of social gaming, but perhaps the future of social organization itself.
Over at CNet, Michelle Starr offers some more insight on how the game is “played”:
As you travel your trails, you can collect virtual resources, picking up bonuses by snapping pictures or lingering in one spot. Like the trails laid by real ants, these fade over time but can be reinforced by travelling over them again. You can reinforce the trails laid by other “ants” in your colony, which boosts your resource collection rate — but crossing a rival path could cost you a day’s work.
For those who are worried about privacy issues, the developers indicate no private data is collected. Instead, the game focuses on behavior patterns, and how these individual patterns interact with the rest of the group.
There’s a video of the pitch made by the developers:
While Swarm! does sound like it makes good use of Glass’ capabilities, it sounds more like something you would do if you had Google Glass, instead of a must-have that forces you to buy Google Glass.[Lead image courtesy]