By Chloe Aiello
Gamers aren't exactly known for their sociability, but Teatime Games COO and Co-Founder Gunnar Holmsteinn wants to change all that with Teatime Live ー a social gaming platform that allows players to actually see their opponents.
"Essentially, we believe that maybe five years from now, it will be weird to play games where you can't see who you're playing up against," Holmsteinn told Cheddar.
Teatime Live launched Wednesday, along with a new game called Hyperspeed. Hyperspeed is a space-themed endless runner game that combines augmented reality and in-game video chat with live-action gaming. It juxtaposes players' faces on-screen alongside the racing action, and uses Snapchat-like filters to keep things interesting.
For Teatime, Hyperspeed is just the start. Holmsteinn said the company envisions ultimately using its original technology as a layer that can be applied to any kind of game. Breaking the barrier of the screen, Holmsteinn said, will create a sense of community and cut down on the more negative aspects of internet culture, like cyberbullying.
"One of our core missions is building healthy communities. By having people look each other in the eyes, we think it brings back a more human element," Holmsteinn said. "If you're just yelling at a username, you might say meaner things. But if you are right there in the same room or feel like you are in the same room, we think the best of humanity will come up."
This isn't the Teatime founders' first venture in gaming. Holmsteinn and his co-founders Johann Thorvaldur Bergthorsson, Ymir Finnbogason, and Thor Fridriksson all came from Plain Vanilla, the game developer that launched mobile trivia game QuizUp. QuizUp, which is something of a precursors to the live trivia game HQTrivia, achieved viral success by allowing users to compete against strangers or their friends in real-time matches.
"People really kind of crave those social experiences and as we have more technology in our lives, a lot of it is isolating us. So we want to break down these barriers and have people interact in humane ways," Holsteinn said.
For full interview click here.