The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 13
Time moves inexorably forward, and with it, human innovation rises and becomes greater and greater, halted only by proponents for familiarity. Gaming, as with any other medium, is not safe from these two opposing forces. These two forces, familiarity, and innovation push and pull on every facet of the industry, creating a wistful callback to the past while creating excitement for future technologies and possibilities. Today I would like to take a look at how these will possibly shape the very fabric and core of gaming in the years to come.
More Complex Interactivity - INNOVATION
In games these days, there is more and more sophisticated ways to interact with your environment. However, we're nowhere near where we could be. One of gaming's holy grails that has eluded us for so long is to be able to interact with the environment as if it was real life. Buildings you can destroy, every house has actual people living in them, the dressers and nightstands able to be opened and rummaged through. Something that's completely impossible on today's technology in any major sense, but moving forward to all more advanced processors, RAM, and graphics are what we need to accomplish this.
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME 5 - 12 years.
Old Games - New Experiences - FAMILIARITY
Throughout the history of gaming, classics have been rereleased time after time, sometimes in the same format, sometimes with a fresh coat of paint or new features, and that doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. We have games like the 3DS 3D Classics (revamps of NES games refitted to make usage of the 3D display), Dragon's Lair for Xbox Live (being retooled with Kinect functionality), and collections of older games being released on modern systems. As we move forward this will only increase in frequency and consumption as the increasing demographic of gamers who grew up with these games wish to look back and experience the games of yesteryear.
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME Ongoing.
Deeper AI Dialogue - INNOVATION
Imagine a world of gaming in which there was much less script writers for certain games, replaced by the computer's ability to choose the right words and sentences depending on how you act in the game. This would break down one of the barriers gamers have long since fought against, the fact that no matter how well-scripted a character may be, there will always be that niggling moment where they say something out of place or stay silent during a moment they should be speaking in. This will add almost limitless replay possibility to games, and with the research strides being done in the field of AI, I eventually see this applying to video games.
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME 10 - 20 years.
The Reintegration of Physical Controllers - FAMILIARITY
As controls for games become more refined and cutting-edge, there will always be necessity amongst gamers for the feel of a solid piece of material in their hands. Whether or not there will be innovation in those controllers, I foresee purely motion-controlled games being phased out and replaced with options for both classic and more "sophisticated" ways of controlling games. Be it by lack of space, lack of interest, or other reasons, not enough gamers are willing to adopt pure motion and limit themselves to the format, and therefore neither will the developers.
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME 1 - 5 years.
Holographic Technology/Virtual Reality - INNOVATION
One of the most appealing futures to gamers is to interact with 3D images as opposed to images projected on a screen. Luckily, with holograms, that will hopefully one day become a reality. To a gamer, when an image is projected into 3D space, it adds an almost tangible feeling of reality to gameplay. This will most likely be predated by helmets that offer 360 degrees of screen view that will create a sense of virtual reality while continuing to utilize a screen. Both possibilities add a plethora of enjoyment, but i doubt we'll see either, or at the very least holograms, in the very near future.
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME 15 - 25 years.
The Return Of Arcades - FAMILIARITY
This may be the boldest statement I've made in the blog so far, and while arcades may have lost their cutting-edge in graphics, I still stand by it. My reasoning is fairly simple, while they won't be able to offer the most high-definition experiences, they'll make up for it with unique experiences. There's so much that can be done with arcades such as plane cockpits, vehicle driving, and mech-fighting, and with the cheapening of essential hardware and widespread availability of plastics I feel there could be a major resurgence in this hobby pushed to the wayside.
ESTIMATED TIMEFRAME 5 - 10 years.
I've made many predictions in this blog, and they may or may not come to pass at all, let alone in the time frames I suggested. I could be so atrociously off you'd feel free to mock me. But, in the history of this hobby, there's one thing you can count on. There will always be the intermeshing of these two forces intrinsincly at balance and providing us enjoyment for many years. For the gamer understands the underpinning force that is the very heart, very core, very soul of this hobby. Whether you lean to familiarity, or innovation, you must remember:
This hobby is built on happiness, and from the purest essence of fun it will remain in the future.
~ Stranger 2012