The future of gaming

I am a gamer.

I’m pretty sure most of you have figured that out by now – I reference my favourite bits of pop culture quite frequently in these posts. We live in interesting times for entertainment, and the evolving mediums that deliver it to us promise for a fascinating future.

Video and computer games are not a new concept. The Atari and the first Nintendo console have been around since the 1980s, and the technology has only grown and evolved since.

How the games are delivered and how widely accepted they are changing as well. We’ve gone from games where you shoot 2D ducks with a toy gun, to fully immersive galaxies that can compete in size with even our own.

 

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Screen Cap from Duck Hunt

Screen cap from Mass Effect

So why is this important? Well, as digital entertainment becomes more popular, more focus is being given to the devices that deliver these mediums. Furthermore, as more people spend time on these devices and games, it opens up entirely new ways to reach potential customers.

Take activation for example. They have developed a hybrid game strategy with their Skylander titles.

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Physical toys are purchased, placed on a scanner as the game is played, and then digital avatars of those toys are available digitally.

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Disney has done the same with its toy-game hybrid Disney Infinity. And Nintendo is following suit with its upcoming Amiibo toy-game characters.

That’s augmented reality. That’s a long way from the days of Atari.

This is just one example of new innovations regarding the world of gaming.

Mobile Games

Clash of Clans is one of the best examples of cross system advertising done in-game.

It’s a strategy game that is played strictly thorugh mobile devices.  Players can construct and expand their villages, unlock successively more powerful tools, pillage resources from other villages, and finally create and join Clans. Although the game is free to play, additional in game currency can be purchased using real money!

This system isn’t unique to this specific game. It’s such a large issue that giants Google and Apple have actually been hit with lawsuits about in game purchases made by children. Mashable wrote a great article on it – you can check it out HERE.

However, there is a free way to get in game currency, and that is where advertising comes into play. Take the game Rise of Berk for Android and Apple phones.

Dragons: Rise of Berk

It has a similar concept to Clash of Clans, except it takes place in the popular How to Train your Pet Dragon universe. Like other games, you can buy in game currency – but you can also watch advertisements and videos to get free coins as well.

S0metimes the freebies can be acquired by simply watching the video. Other times downloads, free trials or even third party purchases must be made to complete the transaction.

It’s a very lucrative industry – as made obvious by Facebooks attempt to capitalize on In-App Advertising, as announced at F8 this year.

 

Direct Download

Have you heard of Steam?

Go online – click – buy – play. That’s it. It’s a easy system that requires so shipping time, costs, and no disks.

The convenience and ease of access is only one of the elements that makes Steam so interesting. It capitalizes on speed, ease of access, and huge holiday sales.

It is those holiday sales that draw people in. The summer and winter sales are like a holiday in themselves because you can stockpile games and have more to play than what you’re even capable of playing. Fans will wait an entire year for the Steam summer or winter sale. I should know – I’m one of them!

What makes the Steam sale so successful is that also it brings to your attention games you would never notice otherwise. Practicality its a pretty useful to have all your games in one place and linked to one service. Even more fascinating is the

social overlay. By signing in through Steam, steamsocial.com will be able to identify a player within the Steam Community and retrieve public gameplay information (such as stats and achievements).

It turns even solo  games into a social experience – and give Steam information on each of its players, how they play, when they play and why.

Beyond two souls

“Beyond” is a new style of cinematic game which guides players through a rich story. The game centers on Jodie Holmes, who is played by actress Ellen Page.

No, I mean she’s actually played by Ellen Page – not based on her. I mean, take a look at the character!

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Ellen page did everything from voice acting to motion capture – she acted out the parts. Players see Jodie’s life from age 8 through 23, with various adventures and decisions to explore. This game plays more like an interactive movie – blurring the lines between film and games and create a new form of entertainment.

Assassins Creed Movie 

Assassins Creed is a long running game by Ubisoft.

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It is an incredibly popular show, and is making the jump to film, which is due out on August 7, 2015.

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Michael Fassbender is a phenomenally talented actor. He’s proven himself equally adept in challenging dramatic roles (like his turn in Shame, a film about sex addiction), and starring in genre films like Promethueus, X-Men: First Class and this summer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.

This isn’t the first video game that has made the jump to film, but most have not been acclaimed.  It is, however becoming more common as video game popularity grows.

Oculus Rift

We’ve talked about Oculus Rift before – you can check out our article HERE. Just a brief update on immersive reality – and it revolves around virtual girlfriend technology.

Yup – that’s just how it sounds.

As the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift inches closer to its commercial release, virtual girlfriend technology in Japan has been make huge strides.

One guy by the name of Negipoyoshi has created a more tranquil Hatsune Miku experience by designing a simulated drink sharing application that allows you to sit with the blue-haired vocaloid on a sunny patio by the sea as you share a single drink with two straws.

With the Digital Revolution upon us, we can only conclude that our entertainment will grow in leap and bounds to keep pace. What developments and games are you looking for? Digital girlfriends? Or more universes to explore.

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