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A World of Simulations: Adventures from Home

Generation Z and a large part of the millennial population have been typecasted as homebodies. If not for their claims, then the high consumption of stay at home entertainment even before the pandemic could attest to this. Popular challenges on social media could mostly be accomplished at home. Many viral videos are simply youngsters dancing in their bathroom or by the pool. With technology, they don’t feel they need to go out. Friendship is a couple of hours messaging on the phone or video chatting the entire day. Physical contact is not as important as it had been for previous generations. For this reason, simulation games have become more popular. Kids even learn skills by playing simulation games, especially those using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. Tech companies, such as DecoAR, that specialize in VR and AR encourage businesses to use this to “create immersive customer experiences.” But other than allowing people to experience products that they are planning to buy, AR and VR have greater potentials for capturing the large young population. These are just a few possibilities opened by AR, VR, and extended reality technologies.

The power of storytelling in marketing

Social media influencers and online marketing use storytelling to capture a market that would be initially indifferent to the products being endorsed. A study has shown that an item accompanied by a good story could sell for a higher price than those without. AR and VR and extended realities, which is a mix of both, are revolutionizing storytelling. Imagine the possibilities with these technologies. They don’t need to reach a massive audience. They could cater to a particular group of discerning clientele who may be few but would most likely afford and are willing to pay higher prices.

The world of gaming

Beyond its use for marketing and advertising, the gaming industry is thirsty for more AR and VR. After the worldwide Pokemon Go craze, nothing has yet reached a market that massive. Adventure games have stayed how they have been for decades. The graphics are getting better, but the level of immersion and actions of the player is still up to the choices available in a drop-down menu. Players the world over would be happier if they were given a more flexible range of actions, choose reactions that are varied and closer to reality. There are already “choose your own romance” kind of mobile games targeting the young female population. Strategy games in building empires have also remained with the younger generation. Many of these could be more interesting if translated into a VR experience. In Asia and even some parts of the world where manga and manhua are consumed, stories of transmigrations are popular. And these are not the usual reincarnation stories. Their characters are transmigrating into characters in novels and mobile games. The idea of living inside a story or game play is very tempting.

Adventures from the safety of your home

playing video games The most important quality of AR and VR is of course its safety. It is perfect for the homebody generations who would prefer to experience adventures from their couch rather than risk their lives to actual dangers. Currently, popular virtual-reality games are action and battle scenarios. These are activities that would unlikely happen in reality. Many of these games still have unrealistic backgrounds. Technology, however, is heading towards the direction of replicating reality for VR setups. For example, many amusement parks offer VR roller coasters for those who are hesitant to get on a real one.

Learning life skills

In some countries, children learn road safety skills through AR. They learn how to check vehicles before crossing the street without ever being put to the risk of getting run over in reality. Similarly, simulations are also done for road traffic violators who need to prove their ability to respond to road safety rules appropriately without going back on the road yet. Simulations are really exciting as they offer insights into situations that would never happen to us in real life. In a way, it gives us a chance to borrow the lives of the characters in the programs. It also enables people to prepare for possible untoward events so that should these happen in reality, we would know what to do. As technology evolves further, we would no longer be limited to the bodies we own or the surroundings we live in. We will have several worlds available to us. This future, hopefully, will not take long in coming.
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