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Facebook's Messenger Games are about to make video chat super competitive

If you thought your six-person video chat was hectic, try adding flying asteroids...


Messenger's new augmented reality games.


Ever wish you could spice up a video chat with flying asteroids?

After announcing big plans for augmented reality features on its apps back in May, Facebook is making good on that AR promise with the launch of Messenger Games -- games that use your camera to animate your face in real-time during a Messenger video chat.

Facebook is launching two multiplayer games: There's "Don't Smile" (where the first person to smile has their face turned into a cartoon grin) and "Asteroids Attack" (where you perch a 3D spaceship on your nose and fly through asteroids in space). Each game can be played by up to six people in a single chat.

It's all part of Facebook's broader bid to jump on the AR bandwagon (think iPhone's Animojis and Snapchat's AR filters) and to keep you using its apps for longer. Facebook has already brought AR to movie posters for the premiere of Ready Player One and has more plans for AR shopping on Messenger.

Messenger Games is starting with Don't Smile and Asteroids Attack, and Facebook says new games -- including "Beach Bump" and "Kitten Kraze" -- will roll out in the coming weeks and months.

Just think: When your grandchildren ask you about the giddy heyday of augmented reality, you'll be able to tell them you flew through asteroids with your face.

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