Gaming in the real world is currently the big thing and interactive technologies do support these activities. However there is on the other side similar effort to make games more realistic, see game engines on digitalurban. In between the two extremes, you could say, there sits Google Maps and Google Earth. Of course not as an official game but in terms of reality vs. virtual, as it virtually represents the reality. Google has so far had little aspiration to take on the games market, apart from the flight simulator in Google Earth together with release 4. There are now with the release of the new flash version some new options. Not Google, but independent developers, have started to merge some gaming interaction with Google’s virtual real world platforms.
A very early one was the Monster Milk Truck that could be driven in Google Earth. I love that one, it is hilarious with some nice, but simple effects, like jumps that made the feeling. It was made possible by the release of the Plug-In to run Google Earth in a browser.
Earlier this year we saw the launch of Monopoly based on Google Maps and now there are some new racing games out.
One is RealWorldRacer by Tom Scott. Here you can enter a destination in Google Maps as you would to find a route you are planning and off you go. There are some four cars to compete with. Along the track there are check points and you have to drive relatively close to them to deactivate. This is to make sure you are not driving off somewhere on the map, as there are currently o other bounding elements implemented.
Another tool is googleDrive developed in conjunction with the MIT by Samuel Birch, this one is said to have limitations where you can only drive on the actual roads, however it did not work on my machine so let me know what you think of it.
A third one is Driving Simulator on geoquake and here you can choose between four different vehicles. It has just released a beta version with a perspective to drive the car HERE.
Image by urbanTick - Screenshot Real World Racer : Plymouth to Exeter. You can tell, I am driing the red paper car that is going down towards Sutton Harbour.