Gaming, or video gaming to be specific, has come a long way as a genre of entertainment. Today, if we look at the games that were made a decade ago, it would be surprising if someone didn't feel the drastic upgrade in gameplay and the game design itself. From being just a tiny closed space, the virtual gaming world today, is becoming limitless. Not just the virtual gaming world, but the gaming industry as a whole, has seen a tremendous growth in business in recent years. In 2019, it generated $120 billion in revenue and experts predict it could reach the 200 mark in just a couple of years.
What does this reflect? Is this what we call a "change in preference"? Nearly a 100 million viewers tuned in to watch players compete in the World Championship of the game, League of Legends, a larger haul than the telecast of the Super Bowl; and by 2021, it is projected that 2.7 billion people- about one-third of the global population- will be gamers. It's pretty clear, that people are enjoying what they are being offered, and they want the choice between "watch" and "play" in their lives. Acknowledging the fact, that the gaming industry has now started to affect the business of the streaming platforms, like Netflix and Amazon, wouldn't be an exaggeration.
Is Artificial Intelligence what we need? While many gaming houses have already started incorporating AI in their game design, it still seems to be a risky bargain. The non- playing characters of the game, also known as NPCs, have a major role in the overall gaming experience. Till now, the NPCs do not have a mind of their own, but giving the reigns to AI would mean that the actions of these NPCs wouldn't be pre-determined. Letting them run free in games may lead to an unpleasant gaming experience where the player might not be having fun as well. Now, what’s the point of such an implementation, where we would miss out on the basic utility of the product? Although, AI is not that bad an idea, if implemented mindfully, in a way that does not hamper the fun part.
How far are we from VR and AR? Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have been around for a while now, but are yet to deliver what they had promised. The VR and AR experience we get today can be easily considered as the first of it's generations to come. Yet, these platforms have undoubtedly brought people together. People like to hang out in a virtual reality and the foreseeable future suggests that these VR and AR worlds would become the hangout place for people who meet at clubs and malls today.
So, apart from the fact that the gaming industry is at an all time boom, and that there are some interesting projects in motion, the question is- are you a part of the change? Well, if you're still reading this, odds suggest that you are; but in case you're not a gamer, trying out a new thing is never a bad idea.