Real-life Mario Kart

In this week’s Power Up! Gaming Blog, Glen Ferris looks at video games which have broken out into the real world…

It’s January and that means a couple of things: firstly, the pressure is on to breathe some fresh air, get some exercise and lose some weight. Secondly, decent game releases are thin on the ground.

All of which means that, if you’ve already played through the best of 2011, there’s little option but to get your ass out into the real world – as dull, unrewarding and decidedly unpixellated as that might sound.

But is it possible to combine both virtual and really real realities to help stave off those January blues? The internet is awash with mickey-taking gaming skits (check out a pair of crackers here and here), but some industrious individuals really do seem intent on bringing their favourite games to life. While we strongly suggest you don’t try any of these at home (well, except the Angry Birds birthday cake), perhaps they’ll give you a few – hopefully safe – ideas to battle through the winter months…

Real-life Assassin’s Creed
Like some kind of self-consuming pop-culture paradox, Assassin’s Creed (a game partially based on actual events) is now inspiring real people to do silly things such as jumping off tall buildings while dressed up as fictional character Ezio Auditore da Firenze. We suggest you leave the leaping to the professionals and perhaps ape the game by investing in various business ventures, talking in an Italian accent and murdering corrupt officials (actually, not that last one).

Real-life Mario Kart
Souped-up go-kart? Check! Silly moustache? Check! Flagrant disregard for the Highway Code? Check! Looks like you’re ready to take to the streets as Nintendo’s iconic Italian stereotype. We do suggest, however, that you stock up on bananas before you start racing lest you find yourself up on a fruit-based shoplifting charge like this poor competitor.

Real-life Angry Birds
Anyone who’s ever played Jenga will know that rebuilding a tower of blocks after each game is an increasingly frustrating task. Such an annoyance pales into insignificance, however, when you consider the poor people who have to re-stack this giant Angry Birds set after every avian salvo. Still, we’d love to get our hands on this awesome invention if only to see what happens when you’re given a bomb bird.

The only thing better than the above would a real-life Angry Birds game that’s also a cake…

Real-life Mirror’s Edge
Take one parkour professional and strap a camera to his head and – et voila – you’ve got yourself some real-life Mirror’s Edge. The first-person free-running adventure game has already provided inspiration for the POV shots from the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man and now it appears to be infecting the real world as wall-crawlers delight in showing the action from their perspective. Of course, if we tried it the footage would mainly consist of face plants and dirt eating.

Byte-Sized Bits

• Skate freaks and gaming enthusiasts will be excited to hear that their two favourite things have come together in the rather ace Red Bull House of Skate, an all-new feature available on PlayStation Home. A virtual area where you can design your very own skate park and play an arcade-style skateboarding game with your own avatar, the digital space also allows you to collect your own limited-edition skateboards, sit in a virtual hot tub and explore other Red Bull worlds, such as Flugtag and Illume. Sign us up now!

• If you’ve played through and subsequently lament the lack of Batman: Arkham City in your life, then a replacement of a sort is soon to arrive in the shape of Gotham City Impostors. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has announced that the launch of the Xbox LIVE, PlayStation Network and Windows PC game has been moved forward to February. Great news for Bat-fans jonesing to get their hands on the online multiplayer, which lets players engage in unconventional urban warfare as either a member of the vigilante Bats or unhinged Jokerz factions.

• When it comes to professional seals of approval, they don’t come much bigger than Travis Rice. The snowboarding legend must clearly be impressed with the upcoming release of SSX because he’s put his name to it. We’ll be able to get our hands on the game when it’s released next month, but, in the meantime, you can see what’s been getting Travis excited in the clip below…

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