Earth-504.5.AR-2: A Subculture of Augmented Reality Virus-Hunting

setting idea inspiration images - 54 Earth-504.5.AR-2

Despite some initial rocky starts, augmented reality eventually became big, turning into a major form of communication.  AR glasses essentially replaced smartphones, and one of the many features they build upon that previous technology couldn’t was to permit real-time interaction with virtual objects.

In addition to static tags, metadata and messages, AR creatures were developed by software engineers as an experiment.  In typical fashion they began as mere advertising vectors, but they eventually developed into cross-company, semi-wild weak AI structures.  As some of these began to spread like worm viruses, software to counter them (“predators”) were also released into the growing wilderness of AR space, creating a regularly evolving ecosystem of competing virtual systems.

Savvy users of AR software can see these creatures overlaying the real world using their glasses.  To them, this ecosystem of varied computer-code creatures is built into multiple unrelated game-like systems, geo-cached to locations and gamified to have ways for even children can affect the programs.  This has been established by multiple companies as a kind of citizen-science approach to hunting and eliminating rampant AR viruses in the world-wide ecosystem.

In the subcultures among many of the top contributors to these efforts has emerged competitive virtual battle.  Since the system was already gamified, collectable cards have been pre-programmed with effects that add strategy, fairness and game balance to AR creature to competitions; this software likewise has benefits in the field hunting the wild viruses.


(I do not own the images in the above collage, and all copyrights belong to their respective owners.)

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