This thesis project is an attempt to create an integration of augmented reality (AR) technology and tabletop board games, with a focus on tackling the challenge of maintaining engagement and capturing the attention of modern audiences who are often drawn to more interactive forms of entertainment like movies and video games. Specifically, the project explores the concept of augmenting older tabletop games with a combination of futuristic digital graphics and overlays with original physical game elements. The project sees and recognizes the problem, which is that the disparity between the level of engagement offered by traditional tabletop games and the immersive experiences provided by modern digital entertainment is quite large. It identifies the problem of older tabletop games lacking the ability to sustain audience interest, particularly in comparison to their digital counterparts. To bridge this gap, the thesis proposes the use of AR technology, which offers a promising avenue to enhance the gameplay experience by introducing visually captivating and interactive elements. The project uses the 1995 board game Settlers of Catan as a building block and basic formula for one example of how AR can be used to bridge the engagement gap (Catan 1995). The project involves crafting interactive board game elements that leverage AR technology to enhance gameplay, creating a visually captivating and dynamic experience for players. As previously touched on, ‘The Blend’ as it is referred to, is the concept of finding a balancing point between integration and redesigning the older game elements and pieces. The goal is to create elements of physical tools that feel familiar to older audiences who recognize and enjoy the original game, while also providing a new spin on those elements that will be able to reach and draw in a demographic of new players who are familiar with a more modern form of entertainment.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Augmented reality--Design; Board games--Interactive multimedia--Design
Visual Communication Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Design (CAD)
Johnson, Jake, "ARtificial Games" (2023). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus