Technology is described for automatically determining placement of one or more interaction zones in an augmented reality environment in which one or more virtual features are added to a real environment. An interaction zone includes at least one virtual feature and is associated with a space within the augmented reality environment with boundaries of the space determined based on the one or more real environment features. A plurality of activation criteria may be available for an interaction zone and at least one may be selected based on at least one real environment feature. The technology also describes controlling activation of an interaction zone within the augmented reality environment. In some examples, at least some behavior of a virtual object is controlled by emergent behavior criteria which defines an action independently from a type of object in the real world environment.