Gaming in the modern world: What does the future hold?
Gaming was once a past time considered childish – or for teenage boys who weren’t interested in sport or girls – but as technology progresses as do the stereotypes and the ability to access fun games to play in your spare time.
The modern world of gaming is of course very different to the 80s version, featuring Ataris and a limited (but significantly harder) selection of games to complete. Now we can play on the move, on our smartphone or portable gaming consoles such as the Nintendo DS.
Apps are downloaded by thousands of people every minute, and celebrities are continuing to cash in on games to make money – hey, if Vanilla Ice did it back in the 90s then Gordon Ramsey certainly can. Apps are also serving as ways for companies to advertise; slot games feature bingo promotions and free downloadable games regularly include video content advertising brands.
Gaming is also making huge advancements in the field of technology, with the recent introduction of VR headsets that are available for around the same price as a console – Sony Playstation’s design can be picked up for around £350, for example. Modern gaming is allowing us to completely immerse ourselves in new worlds, experience incredible graphics that make us feel like we are there in the moment and touch our hearts with emotive characters and landscapes.
Story-based gaming is very much making a comeback. We’re moving away from the traditional ‘shoot-em-ups’ and fighting games once enjoyed and looking forward to a movie like experience where we navigate the characters. RPGs are also allowing us to enjoy this type of experience but we have the privilege of steering our characters in certain directions, affecting their reputation with NPCs (non-playable characters) and the story arc itself – Bioware titles are good examples of this, with Dragon Age and Mass Effect considered some of the first RPG games allowing you to play through an immersive story but also impact upon the end result.
Live streaming is a huge element in gaming now, as people tune in to watch other players work through a game on Twitch or upload edited versions to YouTube featuring the funniest moments. It’s a great way of socialising with the great entertainment factor, and there is a huge diversity when it comes to players from the Yogscast guys and girls to female players such as Hey Chrissa. These players are becoming celebrities in their own right – much like any popular YouTuber – but with this concept comes scandals, such as the latest revelation with gamers ProSyndicate and TmarTn allegedly running an illegal betting website linked to the Counter Strike game.
eSports is of course, a huge development in modern gaming, with arenas filled to the brim annually with people watching big screens and players on the stage battling each other on games such as Starcraft II, Counter Strike and Dota for prizes worth millions. There’s even an eGames tournament making a debut at this year’s Rio Olympic Games.
Gaming online has moved away from the ‘split screen’ as we tap into servers and play with friends from the comfort of our own homes but still get to be sociable with them over a headset – gone are the days when you’d invite your friends over for a game of Goldeneye or COD and get distracted by their movements on the top screen or convince yourself that’s the one you should be watching. Digital downloads are also much more common now than buying a physical cartridges or game discs in the store, with digital storefronts pushing traditional retailers out as they usually offer better, limited time only deals.
The world of gaming will continue to adapt to our consumer spending, our technological advances and our ability to access games on the go – it’s an exciting time for those who game!