Everyone, do the M-‘AR’-io!


Check this out! There’s a guy who used the tech in the Microsoft Hololens to develop an AR 3D rendition of Super Mario!

Ok, so this guy, Abhishek Singh, is a developer who used Microsoft’s own augmented reality headset (Hololens) to recreate the first level of the original Super Mario Bros. digitally and 3-dimensionally over a total length of over 110 meters using the Unity engine. He then filmed himself completing the level while walking through Central Park in NYC. The video you see above is the result.

Do you love it? I know I love it! It’s freaking amazing!!

Now, you might be wondering how he could have recreated the entire level and have gone through it exactly as you would in the original game. Well…he didn’t. Not exactly. Yes, it was a 3D AR recreation, but obviously, you can’t alter the terrain around you to fit the digital terrain of the game, like the pipes, blocks, and steps. You can’t interact with any of that, so whenever he encountered those he just stepped around them and continued on. But it was the stuff that he could interact with that made me smile and giggle uncontrollably. Like when he stomped on the Goombas and the Koopas, or jumped up and punched a 1-UP from a question block, jumped over a gap, or when he even threw fireballs (which had directional input!) and while it was all a little janky and laggy at times, it was still pretty awesome!

…Or was it? I was scrolling through the comments on this video, and while people were absolutely loving it, there was one comment that stood out to me.

This one guy complained about how it wasn’t so great, not because it was laggy or anything, but because it ultimately had no value.


He said that he didn’t get why every time we develop a new form of video game tech, we have to “shoehorn” old game concepts into it, as most of the time they don’t fit at all with what the tech would actually be used for and would be severely limited. On top of that, he called it an “incredible waste of time”. And to an extent, I sort of agree.

I mean, you could totally see the limitations of the program and the hardware when a Goomba would overlap his hand, and the tracking was just a little off at times, and the fireballs wouldn’t throw the first, second, or third times he would do the ‘click’ hand gesture. And like I said above, a lot of the platforming you just couldn’t do because it involved a lot of weird terrains that didn’t exist in the area he was doing it in.

But I wouldn’t call it a “waste of time”. I mean, if anything, it was a small example of how this tech can be used for some really cool stuff. And while we most likely won’t see a complete version of this game come out for Hololens, I think that something could be developed that could fit within the constraints of the Hololens’ purpose (think Pokemon GO). Like, I would love to see maybe a program that generates a random level that would conform to the terrain around you that would spawn Koopas, Goombas, question blocks, and gaps, and that despite being limited would actually be challenging and responsive enough to count as an actual experience that makes enough sense to be on the Hololens.

But enough about my opinion, what do you think about this experience? Think it could turn into something even better?

Leave a comment down below and like the post if you did!

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