What The Future Holds for Gaming
Predicting the future of any industry is a precarious affair – if 2020 has taught us anything, then it’s got to be a thing of unavoidability we’ve known since just about forever: you can only really rely on death and taxes. The rest is pretty much up in the air as well as all over the show.
But inevitabilities aside, one industry that does tend to lend itself to fairly more accurate forward projections is that of the video games industry, or even the gaming industry in general. Hot on the heels of the PS5 reveal, two of the UK’s leading gaming experts – both professors in their fields, no less – are more than willing to wager a guess at what we can expect of the ever-evolving world of gaming over the course of the next decade or so.
Our two consulting experts are Dr. Jethro Shell, who is a Senior Lecturer in Games and Information Systems at De Montfort University in Leicester, and Dr. Edward Powley, an associate professor at Falmouth University Games Academy in Penryn, Cornwall.
Mixed Reality Up Ahead
Both experts cite mixed reality as the next big thing we can expect to see in gaming, i.e. a combination of virtual reality and augmented reality. This is in essence the type of technology we were given a glimpse of in games like Pokémon GO.
Virtual Reality (VR) in its current state, points out Dr. Powley, simply isn’t good enough. The problem is that it completely blocks out the real world. Aside from the hardware being expensive and as such, hard to come by, strapping a rather unattractive goggle onto your face and practically entering into an entirely different world isn’t everyone’s favourite cup of tea. Even though at times difficult to believe, it seems we do prefer the real world to an altogether tech-based reality.
Augmented Reality (AR) is according to both our experts, an altogether different deal. Instead of blocking out reality, AR combines elements of the real world with that of a virtual world. Also, it’s a great deal more accessible.
Guarding The Gates Of Narrative
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will witness a resurgence in coming years, say the experts. In fact, AI is already very present in modern-day gaming, says Dr. Shell. AI is however at present very much applied subject to multiple restrictions. Both professors agree that more leniency is required in this regard, especially during the development phase of games.
Even though many people still hold onto a common misconception that games are playthings for children and adolescents, games are according to Powell and Shell, addressing subjects that are typically difficult to navigate, and with increased frequency. And really, anything that gets a narrative going, is a valuable commodity right now – and always will be.