Bases are loaded. A fly ball is coming your way in the outfield. The fate of the game is in your hands… literally. Welcome to Virtex Arena, a multi-player augmented reality mobile app. “The idea is that it’s a competition that everybody in the stadium could be involved in,” relates Jeff
Green, founder of California-based Virtex Apps. “There’s a lot of energy at a real sporting event. That’s one of the fun things about it! And I’m hoping to channel that real energy into a video game that people can actually participate in while they’re there.” During halftime, timeouts and other breaks at live sporting events, spectators point their iPhones or tablets at the field and compete. Throughout the actual sporting event, mini events take place. Players earn points and, at the end, a winner is declared. Face off against a pitcher (swipe your screen to swing). Field base hits and fly balls as an outfielder (tap your screen to move players into position). More of a football or soccer fan? Suit up! “The genesis of it was you go to today’s sporting events, they’re already doing some simple kinds of games and events to entertain people during down times,” Green explains. “Why not take it to that next level where you’re not just watching it, but actively
participating in it? You’re not just seeing it on a (big screen) video board, but you’re looking at it and interacting with it on the field. And it’s not just three people competing at something; it’s actually 10,000 or whatever it may be.” Virtex Apps generates revenue through sponsorships.
“A simple example is when you start up the game, you can see a sponsor’s logo right there,”
Green says. “Actually, we even have a virtual plane fly above the field and pull a virtual banner with the sponsor name and logo.” Green contends that augmented gaming can promote personal connections. “A lot of times, you hear about virtual reality and there are concerns that maybe you’d withdraw from the (real) world into this virtual world. This is kind of the opposite. Yes, you’re using the virtual world to enhance something, but it’s enhancing your real experience.” Virtex Apps was first publicly available at Super Bowl LII.