Speculation on the Future of Video Games

Video games have already established a well-documented history that spans decades in length. From humble beginnings on ancient computers, to the behemoths that occupied the hazy halls of arcades, to home consoles that enrapture the minds of millions, and even portable gaming power that fits in your pockets, these “video games” were quickly proven to be a viable, legitimate industry force and the chosen pastime for countless players.In their explosive ascent to the forefront of mass entertainment, we have already witnessed rapid advances in their innovative technology. Although some of these attempts, such as the face-mounted three-dimensional display of the Virtual Boy, have failed, others have flourished: The portability of the Game Boy, the constant improvements in graphics, the motion effects of Wii controllers.

Anyone viewing the trends in a chronological setting instantly realizes a question: Where do we go from here? What innovations will arrive next? What will the future of video games look like?

The most basic truth to many attempts at prediction is that it will be impossible to directly, specifically, and accurately nail down a truthful account of future occurrences. However, the science of speculation allows for a few educated guesses in the realm of video gaming enhancements.

  1. Immersion

There is a certain science fiction clich that, despite having overwhelming exposure in various media, still eludes a prominent real-life equivalent. That idea is virtual reality, the concept that a person would be able to engage in an artificial dimension that would feed into all five senses and be able to be explored and interacted with.

So far, attempts have yet to fully realize the idea of virtual reality. There are websites that provide an alternate world to encounter and enjoy, but these still do so by utilizing a separate character, a mere avatar of the controlling human being. What we have yet to see is a system where a person, as his or her self, can flick a switch and tangibly step into another universe of possibility.

In other for this occur with any plausibility, necessary perfection will need to be attained in the area of graphics, so that the virtual reality will look perfectly real; and in hardware, to enable a person to fully perceive the virtual information. Considering the current distance that still remains from achieving these ends at time of writing, true immersion is a concept that is still years away, yet continually creeping closer.

  1. Interaction

Cell phones enabled people to hold conversations regardless of location, shedding many previous limitations. Then, the internet allowed information to be exchanged to an unprecedented extent. Text messaging, instant messaging, widgets, applications, and device-crossing software is increasingly allowing a remarkable amount of choice and power in how people communicate. Soon, video games will approach similar levels of interaction as simple voice communication once did. The precedent has been set by a series of advancements in interaction. The move from experimental computer programs to arcade hits brought people into the same arena for competitive play. Then, home consoles allowed players to enjoy these competitions in their living room. Soon after, portable play was made possible, then newer systems connected players across the world for simultaneous play and even voiceover smack-talk. This only shows that video gaming is evolving over time. Hence, just like gamer t shirts, the future of video games is expected to become drastic.

Pretty soon, we will see games where the same interface and characters interact across different media. One can imagine having a team of Pokemon that could battle across the internet, consoles, cell phone applications, and even in other ways, or playing a first-person shooter at an arcade against other people logging in using completely different devices. Or, once virtual reality is established, maybe people can walk around in real life then simply press a button to instantly transform their surroundings into a fully rendered Game World to interact in.

  1. Instant Gratification

Developers spend massive amounts of time delivering a gaming experience that is rich, rewarding, and expansive. Graphics are brilliantly rendered, entire worlds are conceived, and characters are given rather in-depth personalities.

However, one trend we are seeing elsewhere is the shortening of interaction. The ever-popular Twitter allows for micro-blogging on a one-to-many basis, and text messaging is still increasing in popularity. Video games are, for now, best played in a sit-down session, but for busy people on the move and keeping occupied with other tasks, they may want a gaming fix but do not have the time for a console, nor the capacity to travel with a portable game system. For this niche market of the businessman traveler, the working mom, the completely fully involved person, they will need a form of gaming that meets their micro-sized, short-session needs. While cell phones often come equipped with games, they have historically been subpar. With the popularity, though, of smartphones and iPhones, perhaps soon their quality will increase and make the connection between the smiles of busy gamers and the pocketbooks of innovative game developers.

It is a fragile crystal ball through which we view the future of video games, one that is hazy, always changing, and even fragile at times. Though we cannot yet state any concrete conclusions, gamers everywhere can rejoice in the comfort that the video game experience will only improve rather than devolve.