More than 150 million Americans are gamers.
Now imagine if the video games actually cleaned up the environment.
This possibility has been creating buzz since Pokémon Go swept the nation this summer – when fanatical hordes searching real neighborhoods for fictional characters rescued abandoned animals – thwarted would-be robbers and yes picked up trash.
If augmented and virtual reality gaming can lead to such unintended payoffs – imagine the result if social change was built into the game.
If the nearly-$24-billion-a-year video game industry throws its weight behind the proposition – could vigilante gamers use their powers for good — say – cleaning up real oil spills – identifying real poachers in Africa – reducing the size of real giant garbage patches in the Pacific?
‘I think it can be done’ Mark Skwarek – Director of New York University’s Mobile Augmented Reality Lab and CEO of Semblance Augmented Reality – told Salon.