Something occurred to me yesterday while playing with Bad Robot Software’s Action FX app. I think it’s reasonable to look for a future in which active gaming becomes one of the dominant forms of play.

What is active gaming? It’s where you’re playing video games, using a computer or a mobile computer, but in real life. Think of it like an augmented reality version of the Wii, where instead of being confined to doing stuff in your living room, you’re out and about in the world.

Here’s an example of the reasonably good, near-realtime video effects that something like an iPad or iPhone can generate:

Desktop email explosion

Now combine this with something like Nike’s new Fuel Missions, which offer interactive gameplay based on your movement, and Google’s Glass project. Suddenly, you have the potential to fully and wholly experience your gaming as though you were actually in it.

Imagine what World of Warcraft would be like if you had to actually run from Elwynn Forest to Lakeshire in Red Ridge, rather than just watch your avatar run. Imagine actually fighting off the gnolls there and feeling it, or having to actually strap on the ol’ sword and board and tank one of the black dragons in the area.

None of this stuff is pie in the sky, either. The technology for it all exists now, and is actively being used now by ordinary people:

Glass Session: Madame & Bébé Gayno

The future of gaming is about to get a whole lot different. Are you ready?

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