The concepts behind alternate reality (or augmented reality) interactive gaming are futuristic in themselves. Gamers are freed from their PCs and permitted to roam the face of the earth like normal, social human beings while remaining in-game. Adding mobile and social aspects to the mix pushes the oeuvre into mind-blowing territory. Adventures are location- and proximity-based, IRL interactions spring from in-game teamwork: The mind reels. And don't let's get started on revenue streams, which will occur to you at a rate of one every half minute from the time you read this post until well into next week.
Galligan, whose startup was acquired by AOL last year, recorded this elegant and grateful kiss-off to the old-school web giant and announced his planned summer travels through the Midwest:
Stump has likewise given his notice to Digg and will apparently be couch-surfing his way across Europe through July.
Once the wunderkind duo have settled back down, Crash Corp's work will begin in earnest. Although the team is currently operating in super-stealthy hush-hush mode, we've been frieNDA'd enough to whet our excitement and can't wait to see what the startup will bring.
According to interactive game developer Brooke Thompson, whose site we now quote because its definition of the term most closely approximates what we've heard from the Crash Corp team, "Alternate reality gaming is a growing genre of pervasive games in which participants interact with an imaginary world within a real world space, uncovering a story through multiple means of communication and media. The games tend to be highly collaborative which make them excellent alternatives for team building exercises, viral marketing events, and promotional entertainment."
A mild example of a mobile augmented reality game would be the award-winning Ghostwire, which adds a basic overlay of a "ghost" into the environment as seen from a mobile device's camera:
Other examples of the tech can be seen in this Games Al Fresco post on augmented reality for mobile.
Of course, the better the tech gets, the more imaginative and exciting gaming possibilities become. From the afore-referenced Wikipedia article, "Advanced research includes the use of motion-tracking data, fiducial markers recognition using machine vision, and the construction of controlled environments containing any number of sensors and actuators."
In a word, the Crash Corp team are ignoring the fine line that separates technological realities from science fiction, and we applaud their ambition and wish them the best success.