Dodgeball Made Magical
Imagine stepping into your favourite fantasy world and being able to fight with spells and superpowers. Now imagine it was a globally recognised sport. Well, that’s Hado, a new AR sport from Japan.
What is Hado?
Hado is the brainchild of Hiroshi Fukuda, the founder and CEO of Meleap, who came up with the idea after watching Dragonball. There are moments in the world-famous anime when the characters shoot balls and beams of energy at each other. Hado took this idea straight from the pages of the manga and brought it to life. Through the power of AR, which overlays CGI onto real life (unlike VR, which is all CGI), you can shoot and block energy balls.
Unlike the dodgeball games you were made to play in PE lessons as a kid, in Hado, computers take over the role of referee. Not to mention it’s a whole lot less painful! Through Augmented Reality technology, you can see the shields, attacks, and even your health and lives as if they were real. All the fun of playing dodgeball, but with the bonus of magical looking powers.
What are the rules?
Dodgeball may be its inspiration, but Hado is far more complicated than it first seems. The AR technology means that it can be much more like a videogame, even if it is a lot more of a workout.
There are currently three game modes: Player vs Player mode is classic dodgeball, Hado Shoot is a shooting range to practice your aim, and Monster Battle pits the players against a virtual monster opponent. There are even plans to introduce a Mario Kart-esque racing mode soon.
Once you have picked your game mode, the next step is to assign your skill points. You can increase multiple abilities, including shield strength, attack charge speed, and bullet size. This system allows players to take different roles in the team and create a much more tactical game than it may seem at first.
The last step is to play. The players enter the arena and begin the fight. The first team to lose all their lives loses the match. It’s an action-packed game, and the tactical gameplay has made it into a popular new sport in Japan and around the world. There might even be an arena near you!
Why does it matter?
Hado isn’t just a new type of video game. It’s a real and competitive global sport. Hado is a very physical activity, and you can play for fun or as a workout. You can even book out an arena for your regular cardio sessions. There are locations globally and even a world cup for the professional players. Hado is truly a rising star in competitive sports.
Apart from the obvious fun, it represents change. While classic sports will probably never die out, new technology foreshadows a great future in AR and imaginative games that we could never have achieved before. With advancements in lightweight AR gear from Meleap, the potential for new AR sports is endless. I imagine we’ll see them becoming more and more popular over the coming years.
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