From July of last year until March of this year I worked in television production full time and the only thing I can say about the experience is that it absorbed 100% of my consciousness while I was on the clock and about 82% of it when I wasn’t. And when I wasn’t working, I was exhausted, and simply recuperating in preparation for another long week. I didn’t even do anything important. I was just there... all consumed.
But we had each other. You tend to bond with your co-workers when you’re on a show. It’s a pressure cooker. It’s been described as summer camp, because after this intense, brief period of time, you all go your separate ways and life goes on. Because it’s so intense in the moment, having little in-games and mini-breaks between the action became extremely important. HQ Trivia was the best game to play on set because the scheduled times usually worked around stage moves and camera setups. Drinking heavily was by far the best game to play after work and the weekends in order to dull the pain.
I say all this because the experience of attending a baseball game, while not exactly the equivalent of working in television production, does take a lot of effort and can be soul-draining when you factor in all the people, the traffic, and the cost. And if the product on the field isn’t entertain... say... like yesterday’s 15-2 loss, then you’ve made all the effort and now you’re bored and cold.
Well, I’ll have you know that if you’re attending the Giants-Dodgers series this weekend at AT&T Park, then you’ll have the chance to participate in Virtex Arena’s interactive mobile Augmented Reality (AR) game. It’s a video game app you load up on your smart phone (iOS and Android) and between innings, there will be “game events” where you can put your phone at the field and little sprites will pop up and you can play game that incorporates the spatial reality of where you are physically seated.
You can play a game of baseball on the field of a Major League Baseball park and you didn’t even have to bother with the draft, or working through the minor leagues, stretching, watching hours of video to perfect your swing and identify pitches, or even stretch!
I am not getting paid for this — they approached me and asked if I’d be interested in spotlighting this product. If I were at the games this weekend, I’d definitely give this a shot. 1) Because I’m so dumb when it comes to video games that its straightforward game play means I have a shot at actually doing well and 2) I can practice on my phone without the live in-stadium events so I don’t just drop in cold. 3) spending more time looking towards the field than away from it would make it feel like the trip to the park was worth it and 4) video games + the Giants is a really good combination.
That looks like something fun and different to try out, even if it’s just one. I mean, how many times have you virtually interacted with AT&T Park?
That’s what I thought.
It’s still pretty basic in terms of graphics and you’re limited to choosing the Red team or Blue team ...
Can’t wait for them to start licensing characters. Give me Wario and Toad running the bases. Or, heck, give me a Mario Kart situation in Triples Alley.
You can find it in the iTunes store at this link and here’s the link for Google Play.
Virtex Arena debuts this weekend and will migrate to the o.Co May 4th. But don’t wait until then. It’s free to download and free to play. When you’re waiting around for a pitching change or for those garlic tater tots to arrive, you have options. You don’t have to engage with the people around you through idle chit chat. SHOW THEM THIS GAME. Bond over the augmented, virtual ephemera.