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Video Games Go Back to the Board(game) With Projection Tech

Have your 'Magic: The Gathering' soirees been lacking that 21st-century flare? Are your Dragon Mages and Hill Giants suffering from an oppressive want of interactivity? Well, researchers from Canada's Queen's University have been developing an immersive technology that will merge traditional board and card games with the dynamic interfaces of your favorite MMORPGs. Professor Roel Vertegaal and colleague Mike Rooke want to turn the game pieces into displays themselves.

In a prototype version, Vertegaal and Rooke used hexagonal pieces of cardboard, a projector, and an overhead camera to play an adapted version of 'Settlers of Catan.' The cardboard pieces essentially become bezel-less screens that not only serve as display surfaces, but also allow for user interaction. The pieces can be moved, rotated, and tapped to navigate the game, as well as communicate with the action happening on other tiles. You can even tilt and "pour" the pieces, allowing game moves like solider deployment, as seen in the video below.

While the sample video only uses camera/projection technology (much like the fantastic LightTouch we saw at CES this year), the researchers say that the pieces could be made from e-ink, e-paper, or OLEDs. This kind of gadgetry allows for yet more immersive game play and -- since you must be physically present -- more social interaction. Geeks, stop playing 'World of Warcraft' and get on the hexagonal OLED bandwagon! We imagine that any number of classic board games like 'Clue' or 'Monopoly' could be thus updated, although we're not sure how our parents would react when Col. Mustard starts telling them how they murdered Mr. Body with a candlestick after they "pour" him into the Conservatory. [From: CNET]

Tags: board games, BoardGames, e-ink, e-paper, games, interactive, oled, queens university, QueensUniversity, settlers of catan, SettlersOfCatan, top