Things are going to be so different 30 years from now…or are they?

Image by tind: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tind/7533681980/sizes/c/in/photostream/
Image by tind: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tind/7533681980/

Following up on my previous post in which I looked back thirty years into the gaming past, for this post I thought I’d look forward thirty years to answer the very opinionated and speculative question: “What will video games be like in 2033?” And rather than think all fantasy and pie-in-the-sky as they did with prognosticating in the 1950s, this will be a more practical, less fantastical approach — mainly because I’m cynical and bad at making stuff up, and, probably, because I’m angry that I’m going to be really old in 2033. Anyway…indulge me as I set aside my sardonic tendencies and take a brief look at what’s possibly in store for video games.

  1. Gaming will be integrated into our lives at home and on-the-go.
    In 2033, physical consoles and discs will be a thing of the past. Gaming will be digital and its modules and applications will be integrated into television sets (or whatever relays visual information in 2033). Playing a game will be as easy as picking an app from the TV. Our games will reside alongside our Hulu and Netflix queues and be as acceptable and routine as our TV programs and movies are now as a source of entertainment. Motion gaming will be fairly routine throughout most games, but you’ll still be able to plug in you trusty controllers. And you’ll be able to take your gaming outside and into worlds of augmented and virtual reality. Of course, you’ll need a little more equipment for that, which brings up point two…
  1. Peripheral, peripherals, peripherals.
    There will be no shortage of cool (and probably less than cool) gaming peripherals in 2033. Phones and tablets will still be around for textual communication, but they’ll be linked to virtual headsets with head-ups displays, which will be linked to your games. These commonplace devices will offer gamers access to their games like never before. Bored on the hoverbus? No problem! Just flip down your headset, open that game you started this morning, and begin playing! And since we’ll be playing in virtual reality, those headsets will have integrated rumble paks, so when an unseen enemy hits you on the head from behind, the sensors will go off. You’ll feel the rumble and can address the situation accordingly. You’ll having gaming shoes equipped with sensors that affect walking and running speeds within a game, and clothing with similar sensors that trigger different physical reactions depending on your environment. Sure, you won’t always need all peripherals, but you’ll want to keep you headset handy because not only will it allow constant access to your games, it’ll give you access to your gaming friends as well, which brings us to point three…
  1. All gaming will be social and mobile.
    Don’t fret all you single-player fans,  that experience will never die. But in 2033, games will no longer be classified as “social” or “mobile” as all games will be social and mobile. In the same way we currently receive text message on our phones, you’ll be able to receive game updates and player invites through your heads-up display. Not only will you be notified if there’s new DLC or a patch to download, but you’ll also received word instantly whenever you reach an achievement in a game, even in games you’re not currently playing. You’ll be able to see which of your friends are online and what games they’re playing. Join the game, send a message, or sit back and watch live video from their games. Persistent play will allow for complete and total access to your games in any situation. No waiting for a game to load and no more hassling around with updates. Your games will be fully ready to play when you are!

There’s plenty more discuss and debate (like the cost of all this fun), but my thoughts here boil down to acceptance, integration, and persistence. Those are the three things  I see (or hope to see) happening in gaming in thirty years. Games will be accessible anytime, anywhere. Gone will be the labels the industry applies to us (and gamers apply to themselves). Games will be fully woven into the fabric of our society, and gamers will be you, me, and everyone. Hmm…maybe I’m no so cynical after all?  But this is just what I think. What do you think video games will be like in 2033?

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Walters says:

    Would hope it never happens. Actually, I doubt it will since based on hearsay, games have slowly been on the rise. But by the year 2033…

    VIDEO GAMES WILL CEASE TO EXIST!!!

    …there’s at least a 10% of this happening, and only because by then no one will have money to buy new games and systems ;-;

    Like

    1. cary says:

      Ha! I suppose the same could be said of all our forms of entertainment! But do you mean that games and related stuff will become so expensive that no one will be able to afford them? Or will an apocalyptic event wipe out our economic system entirely, leaving everyone penniless? Or will we evolve into such peaceful, harmonious beings that we’ll no longer need money or extraneous forms of escapism to take our minds off our miserable lives? I’m not sure which one I like better, but I kinda hope video games stick around for awhile. 😀

      Like

      1. Walters says:

        YES I meanmaybe

        Like

  2. simpleek says:

    I can see games being social and mobile in the future. It seems like we are headed in that direction as more companies embrace that idea. I’m all for having the choice of doing social gaming, but I don’t want that to be my only choice. Sometimes you just want to play by yourself. After a long day, you just want to fire up a system and de-stress. You want to shoot the crap out of things in peace without having to game and talk to someone at the same time. You need those quiet moments too.

    Like

    1. cary says:

      I totally agree; and I doubt that game companies and developers will ever eradicate the single-player experience (at the risk of alienating most gamers, surely). And even if (when) we see games become fully integrated into our lives, those quiet moments will mean more than ever. In fact, I could see a new type of gathering place in the future, one where people relax silently with no distractions. “Ha ha, you mean libraries?” Well, even those are becoming less and less quiet these days. But I bet that as our future becomes nosier, we’ll start seeking out the quiet places more and more (and…maybe we’ll access our quiet games there too.)

      Like

  3. duckofindeed says:

    I can’t really guess what games will be like in the future, but it seems like online and multiplayer stuff is a big thing and will likely only get more popular. And they’re pushing 3D now. I’m hoping games won’t change too much in the future. Like simpleek said, I want to have the option of playing alone. I play games more to get a break from the world, so I don’t want to have to play with others if I don’t feel like it. And I hope not all games will be 3D. I don’t like 3D. I don’t like feeling like things are coming at my face.

    Like

    1. cary says:

      Yeah, multiplayer is probably going to become more and more prominent in games. But hey, as long as we keep our current games and consoles in good shape, lots of us are probably set for life! We’ll be having plenty of single-player fun on our “retro” games.

      But you know what’s not fun? 3D gaming; and I really hope it doesn’t become standard in the future. I’ve watched a few movies in 3D, and it’s okay. But I’ve also had the chance to try a couple games in 3D…no thank you! The experience was very disorienting and queasy. Plus, I hate having to wear 3D glasses. I’ll live with a cool gaming headset with a virtual display — but big, plastic glasses that make my ears and nose hurt? I’ll stick to painless games in 2D.

      Like

Add to the Discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s