Will you be playing social AR games out in public?

Facebook Messenger's social AR games

Whether or not you consider yourself a gamer, you probably have at least one game installed on your smartphone or tablet. It’s a market that has exploded over the last several years. From titles that take up just a few minutes of your time, to more in-depth options that you can really sit with for long stretches. There’s something for everyone.

And hopefully you don’t mind the in-app purchases or ads.

That variety includes augmented reality titles. These AR games are designed to take advantage of either the rear or front-facing camera, and insert digital experiences in the backdrop of the real world. We’ve seen AR titles really take off, too, including Pokémon GO, for instance.

So it probably isn’t too surprising that platforms like Snapchat and Facebook want in on the fun, too. Snapchat has been building what it calls “Snappables” for a bit already, putting together social experiences that make sense for the platform they are on.

And now Facebook Messenger is getting its own option, which was announced earlier today. These social AR games are designed to play with others, up to six, in fact. One title has players trying not to smile as filters pop up, and the other sees players navigating a space ship and trying to avoid asteroids. They seem like interesting enough games, and Facebook says more are on the way.

So I have to ask the most obvious question here: are these games you’ll play while out and about? I consider most mobile games to be time fillers, ways to fill in a few minutes before a movie, or while commuting, or something like that. And there’s no denying these social experiences are definitely designed for that, but with other players involved at the same time. And these games rely on the front-facing camera, so you’re basically on a video call while you play together.

Will you play a game like this, whether it’s in Facebook Messenger or Snapchat (or wherever else), while you’re out in public? Are you looking forward to these types of games becoming more popular? Let me know where you stand with the future of social AR gaming.

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