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Badboy Recovered

I agree.

Although I think maybe by 2020. 6 years seems a bit too soon. I read somewhere that voice operated OS's wont be that good till about 2020, even though they are starting to dabble in them a bit now.

Just my opinion :)

GK

Badboy recoverd,

For fully immersvie VR, yes, 2020 is a proper estimation.

But for games to be good enough for most people age 50 and below to pour their time into it, at the expense of a big chunk of TV watching, that will happen by 2012, even if it is not fully immersive VR yet. That is what the article seeks to predict.

Consider the increase in Internet usage from 1993 to 1999. From virtually nil to quite a bit, in just 6 years.

Badboy Recovered
GK

Fun stuff. When a ball like that is eventually available for home purchase for just $20,000, most television shows will not be able to compete for people's time. A massive culture change will occur.

aa

$20k is a bit much, surely.

AFFA

0) I haven't had a TV in years. I split my free time equally between games, books, and content creation (including mods for games) for my own amusement. I always thought I was just a weirdo, but perhaps I'm a really a misunderstood trendsetter...

2) Controllers are already bigger than they used to be.

Handhelds are still kid-sized, but that's due to design limits as much as the market. There are way to make both the controller and display larger than the device (you can "project" a keyboard on a table and observe the finger movements for typing, etc), but no technology I'm aware of lets you do this while moving around.

There are already some steps towards cheap, inaccurate motion detection (EyeToy) or custom controllers for specific games (DDR, Guitar Hero). At E3 last year, there was a fighting game controlled by real-life full-body movements (using a camera and, more surprisingly, no special clothing). The technology is almost good enough today, but still too expensive for the home.

I'm not sure it would catch on, though, even when it becomes cheap. There's something to be said for lazily sitting back on the couch (or leaning back in your computer chair) as you play. I'd want some games to be more active (personally, I want an exercise game with a medieval or renaissance swordfighting theme), but I think this is limited market. Most people can learn to press a series of buttons that makes your avatar do a fancy Kung-Fu move. Not that many people can do cinematic Kung-Fu in real life. A VR headset does not make you faster, stronger, or more coordinated.

3) I rarely see TV nowadays, but I don't think it's getting any worse. If anything, the few episodes I've seen in recent years are written better, have more complex humor, and require more thought.

The best games can't compete with B-movie scripts yet, much less a good novel. I can forgive games for this because I know firsthand how hard it is to make a compelling story in an interactive medium or with a mere 15 minutes of linear narrative split up in 20 hours of non-linear gameplay.

TV and movies have been taking visual and thematic inspiration from video games (The Matrix is perhaps the most obvious example), but I'm not sure this is an improvement.

The money is definitely moving towards games at the expense of other media. This will probably make higher quality games, but I'm not sure it will result in better stories.

4) I don't see adult games becoming popular in the U.S. in the next five years. Probably not in the next 10 years, either. Partly because of art quality and the Uncanny Valley, but also because of cultural attitudes and a game industry that's busy doing other things.

I think porn games are creepy. If bad actors can't convince me they're enjoying themselves, I doubt a computer generated character would do a better job.

I think a larger portion of the game market will include adult themes and plots in the next few years, and a few may earn a Mature rating for something other than blood and gore. I just don't think porn games will be a significant part of the market in the near future.

6) Any game with a goal or reward system can be addictive, but I don't think on-line games are unusually addictive.

Estimating the value of virtual assets is problematic. Even guessing at the size of the RMT market is problematic.

I expect games to be democratized, too. Art is the real problem for content creation. There are already game "engines" that target amateurs and wannabe game developers. The programming has become much cheaper if you don't insist on being at the cutting edge. Anyone can design a game (or at least, in my experience, everyone thinks they can). But quality art assets still require a team of talented artists. There are public libraries of free 3D models, etc. but it will be some time before someone can make a quality game using just what's publicly available.

Jacko

Good articles. While folks may dispute your 6 year time line, they are debating when and not if the trend will continue. Here are a couple more thoughts that I believe buttress your original argument.

First, the sophisticated game engines you are talking about may find another use that will hasten conversion from TV. Current designers of the internet are struggling with the inherent limitations of html, CSS and their closely related progeny. Web applications are still a relative horror story involving complexity, compatibility, and time. the solution is already before them; 3D engines out there like Doom or Unreal already have it figured out, and would provide a backwardly compatible and much richer browsing experience than today's text based approach. I wonder why at least some well travelled websites aren't using those engines now. Browsing and cataloging through data using a 3D approach would be faster and more fun. Look for the 3D experience to hasten adoption of the internet.

Second, contrary to other commenters, I would postulate that Hollywood's demise is driven at least as much by the fact that morally they have nothing further to say, even while 'gaming' is becoming more complex and providing a richer experience apart from its advancement in technology. People are tired of TV and ready for an alternative.

Technology is providing it. Twenty years ago you watched TV or perhaps went to a bar and listened to a local band. Tomorrow you'll play in your band in your home while the computer reconstructs the bar and the people in it. And if you're good, people will come to see you; through your computer of course.

mishu

Meh. TV is still more sociable than gaming. Add VR to the mix, how would the computer know if you are talking to it or someone else?

Mandy

I think it's to soon for that to happen. Wii came out with the motion censor, but I and some other 20% of the US is video game system deprived and might always be.

Thanos

I'm going to respectfully disagree on the assumption that older people will not join these games. In the "FPS" mode games you will not see them as much, but the MMORPG worlds are filling with them. In any MMORPG game you see a double humped camel curve in users ages. Those you mentioned above, and those retiring. People in their sixties to seventies are not a significant part of the demographic, but those who are 50+ are.

tube

Consider the increase in Internet usage from 1993 to 1999. From virtually nil to quite a bit, in just 6 years.

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