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Extrapolating the Near Future of Gaming

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the no-duke-nukem-forever-jokes dept.

Games 196

Sci-fi author Charlie Stross gave a keynote address at the recent LOGIN 2009 conference about what we can reasonably expect from games and game-related technology over the next 10 to 20 years. He takes a realistic look at the limitations we'll face with regard to processing power and bandwidth, and goes on to talk about how augmented reality software and aging gamers will affect future titles. Quoting: "But the sixty-something gamers of 2020 are not the same as the sixty-somethings you know today. They're you, only twenty years older. By then, you'll have a forty year history of gaming; you won't take kindly to being patronised, or given in-game tasks calibrated for today's sixty-somethings. The codgergamers of 2030 will be comfortable with the narrative flow of games. They're much more likely to be bored by trite plotting and cliched dialog than todays gamers. They're going to need less twitchy user interfaces — ones compatible with aging reflexes and presbyopic eyes — but better plot, character, and narrative development. And they're going to be playing on these exotic gizmos descended from the iPhone and its clones: gadgets that don't so much provide access to the internet as smear the internet all over the meatspace world around their owners."

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I will only be a 50 year old gamer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27987765)

Thank you very much. You 60 year old gamers can keep playing your old people games while I enjoy mid-life.

Re:I will only be a 50 year old gamer (5, Funny)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989067)

"while I enjoy mid-life"

Crysis?

Still there will be something in common (5, Funny)

sanborn's man (687059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987799)

we will be still waiting for DNF!

Re:Still there will be something in common (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27988075)

Oh please. By this time, Duke Nukem will have become fully self-aware and taken over. Allowed activities will consist solely of ass kicking and chewing non-existent bubblegum.

This, my friend, is the future.

Re:Still there will be something in common (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988605)

Allowed activities will consist solely of ass kicking and chewing non-existent bubblegum.

These restrictions will even apply to Chuck Norris.

But only because he wants them to.

Have a look at the age pyramide (4, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987827)

Those 60+ years old gamer will be a minority market in comparison to the 14-20 years old. Which is why today despite having 40 years old demographic, we still have a majority of game geared toward a less mature audience as a whole. And yes, I don't need to be 60 years old to recognize a trite story already made 100 times. I could already recognized that at 25. We don't get wisdom suddenly at 60 years old you know...

Re:Have a look at the age pyramide (5, Insightful)

ouimetch (1433125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987929)

Nostalgia is also a very big part of growing older, so I imagine it would be very wise to develop games with a more "classical" set-up that will appeal to these older users. Either re-releasing old goodies like various NES, SNES, Genesis titles etc, or developing titles with a familiar playstyle(who wouldn't want to play a sweet new side-scroller) would probly be the way to go.

Re:Have a look at the age pyramide (5, Informative)

bluesatin (1350681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987965)

If you haven't heard of a game called Braid, I'd recommend it to anyone.

The main creator has a very strong view on gaming ethics, things like achievements shouldn't really exist.

People will endure a long time of unenjoyable playtime just to get an achievement, the creator of Braid thinks players should just be having fun at every moment of the game just from game mechanics.

Another great game I'd recommend is World of Goo, everyone that I've introduced to it has fell in love with it.

Re:Have a look at the age pyramide (5, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988041)

Unless there's going to be a population boom (unlikely in western countries), I don't see how. It may happen if people lose interesting in games as they get older, but I guess the premise is here that that won't happen. Okay, 60+ gamers won't be a majority, but it's plausible to say they'll be a significant part of the market. Certainly far more so than now, where elderly people mostly don't play games, because they never grew up with them.

And unlike middle aged people, they'll have a lot more time on their hands. And unlike 14-20 year olds, they are more likely to have the money.

We've already seen a shift in games marketing already - up until the mid 1990s, games were still mainly seen as "for kids", and I noticed that with the Playstation, there was a shift in advertising towards young adults. Makes sense really: firstly kids of the 80s were now in their 20s; secondly, they had more disposable income (especially important considering the increasing costs of games production). The last thing games companies wanted then was to have the image stick that games were something only children played.

Re:Have a look at the age pyramide (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988141)

Well, not in Germany [bib-demographie.de] . ^^

Re:Have a look at the age pyramide (3, Interesting)

malkavian (9512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988211)

The 'aged' sector of the population is an ever increasing one. With the increases in med-tech over the next 20 years, 60 will still be quite spry.
The sector of growth that's slowing down in the younger generation, as especially in areas of Europe, the land is becoming increasingly overcrowded.
Most likely, the 14 year old sector of the market will be smaller by dint of being a smaller segment of the population as a whole.
The majority of games aren't directed at 14-20 anymore. The casual market is exploding, and that covers all ages, and is of marked interest to the older. The 'hardcore' 14-20 something is decreasing, although still released with hype and ceremony; That sector probably isn't going to go away, as there'll always be good money in it, however the larger electronic gaming market will take over a lot of places that are currently occupied by older games (card games etc.) in society.. That's what the article seems to be predicting, and has a stab at seeing how the games companies are likely to adapt to bring in this ever growing segment. After all, it'll have a lot more disposable income than the 14-20 segment. A LOT more.

Presbyopic eyes? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27987829)

More like bionic eyes. It should be easy as long as they're connected to your blue tooth.

And wtf is it with the iPhone reference, sure these future devices will be descendents of the iPhone in the same way they'll be descendents of Nokia 5110 or the original Gameboy. Srsly, the iPhone is nothing more than a portable touchscreen device with a rather childish looking interface. To put a reference to it in your article is only an attempt to freeload off it's hype.

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (3, Interesting)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987989)

I thought entirely the same thing - can't we get through a story without an irrelevant Apple slashvertisement?

Handheld gaming was hardly invented by the Iphone, nor was Internet access in phones. Apple are long playing catch up here. And they didn't "popularise" it, either - the Iphone is no Ipod, both in terms of features and market share. To suggest that the other devices are clones is ludicrous, and insulting to those companies that worked hard to bring those devices, often long before Apple thought of doing so. As you say, the Gameboy is the obvious popular reference.

It becomes tediously circular - people freeload off the hype as you say, and by doing so, it adds to the hype.

It's also patronising to Slashdot readers: yes, I know that the average layperson has to be told "Ipod" instead of "mp3 player", "Windows" instead of "operating system", "Gameboy" instead of "handheld games console" or "Nokia" (the obvious realistic choice) instead of "mobile phone", but I think readers here are capable of knowing what the products are, without it having to be explained in terms of brandnames.

("Hey, I've got a web page you might be interested in! It's a webpage that can be read on Iphones and clones, isn't that great?")

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988339)

Huh what? The iPhone is effectively a superset of an iPod. (I say effectively because the UI is a bit different from previous iPods, but various iPod generations had differences too.) But all of the functionality is there.

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988537)

I'm not sure how that relates to my argument? The Ipod is successful as an mp3 player, sure. It doesn't matter whether the Iphone is a superset or not - you can't claim that because the Ipod is successful/whatever, therefore the Iphone is. And even if the submitter had said Ipod Touch instead of Iphone, it's still dubious to say that Apple were the first, or are the leader, in the market of handheld games consoles, or Internet devices. Even if we assume that all Ipod Touches were sold for these purposes, you're still competing against the millions of other devices sold, from ordinary mobile phones, netbooks, and every handheld console since the gameboy.

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988927)

I was refuting what you said "the Iphone is no Ipod, both in terms of features and market share.".

While very very very technically, you are correct that the features are different since the UI is somewhat different, the UI is also different between other generations of iPod. But at a general level, an iPhone is a superset of an iPod since it does all of the high level features that iPods share (playing music, podcasts, etc.) It doesn't mount like a disk on your desktop, but I don't think all of the other iPods do either.

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (4, Interesting)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988011)

I think you've failed (like a lot of the "Luddite" nerds ) to grasp what the iPhone has done. The interface is not "childish", it's good. In that, it does what you expect it to, and doesn't make me angry. It also feels more "real". Multitouch done properly is really, really nice, and no amount of elitist nerdy pouting is going to change that.

I have never, and would never, buy a handheld gaming device. I have, however, bought an iPod touch--which I got for reading Slashdot in bed--but have actually bought quite a few games for it.

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (1, Interesting)

Mprx (82435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988103)

What I expect is such basic features as "copy and paste" and "multitasking". I don't even have to try the iPhone to know that it's bad.

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (2, Insightful)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988223)

Perhaps the difference here is that I treat it like I would an appliance, not a handheld computer (seriously, handheld is a sucky form factor for computers--multitasking is hard to do properly technically, and the tiny interface does not lend itself to it anyway). As an appliance, it is good. Mostly reacts INSTANTLY to input, very short load times. It's not supposed to be a computer in your pocket--which is why it doesn't suck.

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988565)

What's an "appliance"? Something that isn't as good as a handheld computer? Not exactly a convincing sales pitch...

This is especially amusing since it's the Iphone fans who often try to promote the Iphone as being some kind of "handheld computer", not merely a phone. Yet the reality is, it's those ordinary phones that have these basic features of a "handheld computer", and the Iphone is relegated to being a mere "appliance" :)

which is why it doesn't suck.

It doesn't suck because it has less features? Again, an interesting argument, but if you want a phone, sorry, "appliance", without too many features, you could just pick up a cheap contract-free one for under £50.

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989069)

An appliance is meant to denote something which does specific thing; it has specific applications and limited functionality [wikipedia.org] . I'd contrast this to a general computing device, which is supposed to be a platform for doing just about anything. Being an appliance helps to narrow the scope of possible applications, which can lead to a focus on getting what it does do right.

So yes, in a way, it is better because it has fewer features. This is not a particularly interesting or novel argument.

Note that I'm not arguing the iPhone is the best phone you can get (I prefer cheaper phones I can drop or lose without having a heart attack), but the interface is efficient and pleasant for the features the it (or iPod Touch) actually have.

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (4, Interesting)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988129)

like a lot of the "Luddite" nerds

An ironic accusation - it's not "luddite" when those people embraced technologies that did handheld gaming and Internet access years before the Iphone. Quite the opposite.

The interface is not "childish", it's good. In that, it does what you expect it to, and doesn't make me angry. It also feels more "real". Multitouch done properly is really, really nice, and no amount of elitist nerdy pouting is going to change that.

And there's not a single actual argument put there - you might as well say "Iphone rules! Nokia sucks!" It's not "childish", it's good, it does what it's supposed to, it doesn't make me angry, it "feels" more "real". It's really really really "nice", anyone who disagrees with me is just nerdy pouty! Please - let's have proper intelligent debate, and actual evidence and examples, not vague terms, assertions and childish insults. (And saying "really" a lot of times doesn't make an argument anymore convincing.)

I have, however, bought an iPod touch--which I got for reading Slashdot in bed--but have actually bought quite a few games for it.

So not actually an Iphone then. But good for you. And I have a Motorola V980 that I can use to read Slashdot from bed - your point?

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988423)

Point one, I put "Luddite" in scare quotes because I am aware of the fact that most of these nerds are not really Luddites, but surely you have noticed the huge resistance among a lot of nerds to changes in technology--especially if that change has the slightest whiff of hype--to the extent that they will not admit the good points of that technology (interface changes seem to infuriate them the most).

Point two, I did give a few reasons for liking the interface, which granted, I didn't expand on much. The "realness" is an important factor. It feels like manipulating real objects with my fingers. Millions of years of evolution have gone into the the finger->object manipulation, having it as an interface works for me. Obviously, it works for a bunch of other people too. The instantaneous of the interface is a real plus for me as well.

My third point is that the iPod has me spending money on games, which I have never really done before. TFA is about gaming, so I was bringing my comment to bear of the actual subject. The iPhone and iPod Touches have opened a huge new market for games (people who wouldn't buy games or gaming machines normally).

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988145)

the iphone's interface is fairly limited in what it can do. no background apps for example, its oversimplified for the sake of bringing it to the mass market of people who wouldn't buy expensive phones otherwise. Shiny effects for the "wow factor" but I don't need those.

Imagine if instead of some fancy scrolling or drop-down effect the phone did absolutely nothing for the same length of time as the effect would take. It would probably make you angry because it slows you down. An effect is similar - like a window redraw you have to wait until it's complete before you can continue. I would rather have things respond instantly - i don't like fooling myself. Its electronics and should concentrate on doing everything fast rather than trying to emulate the mechanical limitations of real life.

Touch screen is also a hugely overrated input mechanism - touch screens have been around for decades and if they were really that great there would be no mouse and keyboard now. Even if your user interface is completely optimised for the touch screen it will still be slower and less precise than using a mouse, touch-pad or clitmouse.

Relationship cues for the mammalian brain (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988193)

Its electronics and should concentrate on doing everything fast rather than trying to emulate the mechanical limitations of real life.

Prior to electronics, H. sapiens had thousands of years to adapt to the mechanical limitations of real life. Animations tap into that adaptation, giving the mammalian brain valuable subliminal cues as to how two pieces of information are related.

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988295)

Yeah, see, you just don't get it (man). The interface is good because of those animations, and the fact that it feels like I am manipulating material objects with my fingers. As tepples said, millions of years of evolution have gone into this--this is how we have evolved to interact with things, and how expect them to act if we are to keep track of them. You may not like it, maybe you prefer a CL or something, I dunno. But you're simply missing the point here, it is just hype, it's actually nice to use for a lot of people.

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27989225)

Even if your user interface is completely optimised for the touch screen it will still be slower and less precise than using a mouse, touch-pad or clitmouse.

What is a "clitmouse?" Sounds kinky...

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (4, Interesting)

donnacha (161610) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988655)

No, the iPhone reference was important: the keynote was about "Extrapolating the Near Future of Gaming". When you extrapolate, you pull from what is happening today. The iPhone has shown that many normal, non-techie folks will use technology in unexpected way, and to an unexpected extent, if you make it easy enough for them.

It doesn't matter if hardcore techies think that the iPhone is "childish" or if they think it is a badge of honor to continue using their Motorola V980, it really doesn't matter at all.

What matters is what the mass of ordinary consumers move towards and, right now, today, Apple are creating a mobile platform and eco-system that could very well remain dominant for the next couple of decades, just as MS did on the desktop.

But the key point is that the iPhone shows that good design can pull mainstream users towards technologies that were previously adopted only by relatively small niche groups, such as /. readers - our use of technology in twenty years will depend not only upon what is possible but, also, upon the good design and implementation that packages the possible and persuades the mainstream to integrate it into their lives.

Re:Presbyopic eyes? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989143)

When you extrapolate, you pull from what is happening today.

Even today, describing today's market as "Iphone and clones" is nonsensical.

It doesn't matter if hardcore techies think that the iPhone is "childish" or if they think it is a badge of honor to continue using their Motorola V980

Eh? I am not the one trumpeting the make of my phone at every opportunity! Let's take a look at TFS - it says "Iphone", not Motorola. That's the whole point of this thread. In fact I didn't mention my Motorola V980 at all, except to point out that even an old phone like that happily reads Slashdot, in the response to someone who evidently thought that reading Slashdot from bed was some wonderful new thing. Throwing in a Slashvertisement in the summary when it's irrelevant is fine, saying they use their Iphone to read Slashdot is fine, but if anyone dare mentions the make of their phone, they're using it as a badge of honour? The level of double standard here is astounding.

I apologise I haven't thrown out my perfectly fine phone just because Apple released one, that still doesn't do all the things my old phone does (copy/paste, Java, etc). I'll upgrade my phone every few years, and when I do, I'll get a phone that does do everything my current phone does.

The idea that only hardcore techies don't use Iphones is ludicrous - there are billions of non-Iphone phones in the world.

What matters is what the mass of ordinary consumers move towards

I entirely agree - and market sales figures shows that the "mass" is not using the Iphone. Not even close.

Apple are creating a mobile platform and eco-system that could very well remain dominant for the next couple of decades, just as MS did on the desktop.

They are creating one platform, but there are many other players, and much bigger ones such as Nokia. It's not that the Iphone's awful, I'm sure it's a perfectly average phone for the money these days, but the point is it's not the be all and end all of phones. Far from it, in fact.

previously adopted only by relatively small niche groups, such as /. readers

Bizarrely, what I see is the reverse. Mobile phones have been adopted by ordinary users for years, and it seems to be Apple fans here on Slashdot who have never got a phone until Apple released one (I guess they never thought they needed a phone, but obviously that changes if Apple release one). And now they act as if reading the Internet on a phone is some wonderful thing, completely oblivious to what most consumers have had on their phones for years. So it's an ironic situation where a niche group of geeks here on Slashdot are behind what's been previously adopted by the mainstream.

Business Plan for the over-60 game developer (5, Funny)

drmofe (523606) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987833)

1. Develop radical new gameplay idea.

2. Get off my damn lawn!

3. Profit.

Re:Business Plan for the over-60 game developer (4, Funny)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987871)

2. Get off my damn lawn!

So, that's what "???" means.

Re:Business Plan for the over-60 game developer (3, Funny)

RabidMoose (746680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988171)

At age 20, you play "Paperboy".

At age 60, you play "Shoot the damn paperboy for riding his bicycle on your lawn and breaking your window every morning."

Re:Business Plan for the over-60 game developer (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988427)

Paperboy 2: The Former Customers' Revenge

(actually, there was a home computer sequel, Paperboy 2, but the arcade version was just Paperboy.)

Re:Business Plan for the over-60 game developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27988819)

The sequel appeared on many platforms, not just the home computer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paperboy_2).

Sci-fi? (5, Informative)

gplus (985592) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987843)

I think he would probably prefer the term SF.

Sci-fi is Hollywood entertainment with explosions, technobabble, and spaceships that make rumbling sounds as they travel through space. SF (speculative fiction) is something that might contain a bit of actual intelligence hidden inside.

Excuse for "sound" in space (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988231)

Sci-fi is Hollywood entertainment with explosions, technobabble, and spaceships that make rumbling sounds as they travel through space.

The near vacuum of space does not transmit sound. But it does transmit electromagnetic signatures from a spacecraft that the navigation systems in the cockpits of other craft may render as sound.

Re:Excuse for "sound" in space (1)

MortimerV (896247) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988551)

The near vacuum of space does not transmit sound. But it does transmit electromagnetic signatures from a spacecraft that the navigation systems in the cockpits of other craft may render as sound.

Sounds good to me. If I'm going to buy human pilots in a space battle, I can certainly buy the idea of a positional sound system designed to aid those pilots with audio cues.

Re:Excuse for "sound" in space (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989119)

That was always my rationalisation. Rule of Cool aside there's simply a limit to the amount of information you can meaningfully convey to a pilot/crew using visual cues. Eventually it's going to be simpler to apply distinct sounds to certain things and feed them to the pilot, after all we're BUILT for that.

Re:Sci-fi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27989103)

SF is Scifi written by humanities majors. Most of it is about as good as you'd think.

Obviously he's a sci fi author (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27989181)

Plot? Character? Narrative development? WTF? These are games. Guitar Hero needs none of the above to be totally entertaining, and the product of the decade.

Obviously to a writer, the writing is the big thing game developers should work on. He's missing the big picture.

Yes, we're getting older and bringing our stuff... (4, Interesting)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987863)

It wasn't too long ago that I realized that in 2050 and 2060, old folks homes will be blasting metal so loud that their hard of hearing residents can hear it. By then, heavy metal will be what grandpa listens to and the young'ns will be listening to something equally infuriating and weird as linkin park is to our parents.

Anywho, instead of bridge or cribbage, there will be virtual dungeon crawls and WoW guild reunions. I think that the direction that games have been taking over the past 10 years has already pushed games to a point that they can be enjoyed by almost everybody with the proper background. While I won't be able to play quake 3 as well in 40 years as I did 8 years ago (when twitch gaming was at its peak and I was in practice), I might be a challange in 40 years in a game like bf2 that is more about resource usage, anticipation, and strategy. Granted there are narrow alley encounters where twitch wins, most of the kills (ignoring air combat) in bf2 came from having a resource (tank or apc), being in the right place, and seeing somebody before they saw you. All of that came from knowing the flow of the map and the more experienced player would most likely kill a rookie who doesn't know what's going on or how to handle the map. The experienced player will track along a hill, not make a silhouette, and watch choke points, they probably won't camp, and I will never equate camping with skill. So knowing how to traverse a map, handle your in game weapon, and not make yourself a target comes with experience and will lead to more kills than being able to whip around and headshot someone. If they can't pick you out, they can't headshot you.

So what I'm saying is that I will probably be playing games with veeery similar mechanics to those that I am playing now. Twitch gaming, a style that favored picking out movement from a sea of chaos, fast reflexes, and precise movements hasn't been in vogue for the past 5 years. I am certain, dead certain, that playing games like COD and bf2 have killed my abilities to be competitive in games like unreal 3, but in every pick up game I drop into in u3 (for the pc), I dominate. I was pretty OK in UT when it was at its peak and was mediocre at q3. I'd say that U3 is far more twitch than UT, but not as much as Q3. The twitch players aren't the majority of the FPS community. By the time i'm old and wrinkly, Twitch will be a long forgotten relic that we will talk about like people talk about terminals and punch cards.

Addendum (3, Interesting)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987991)

By the way, in my post I made a few assumptions that should be cleared out. I ignored single player games because I have no clue if they'll be around in 40 years. Yes, there will be a demand for them, but they're also the easiest to pirate and have less replay value than multiplayer games. So while there may be a market for them, developers may stop making them in favor of MMO's or as tutorial modes for multiplayer. They may also finally find a voice and become as established as novels and graphics and authoring tools may become so advanced that a single author can purchase something titled gameshop pro and start whipping out a game that will be marketable in a year and the single player game market may be just as expansive as a borders book store, and just as affordable due to the competition.

I have no clue what is held for the SP market, but I did focus on the multiplayer dynamics, which is also what the summary focuses on. (I refuse to RTFA).

By the way, what I talk about in bf2 sounds similar to map control in q3, but map control is half of victory in q3, the rest is skill, reflexes, and winning fire fights. In bf2, winning an encounter is often an instance of spotting someone first, lining them up, and killing them first, less dodging, jumping, and fast reflexes. Its a fine difference but I could imagine a 64 year old Me doing just as well as a 24 year old Me in BF2. I can't say the same of q3. I also view Q3 to be the pinnacle of twitch gaming, almost everything after that was made more "accessible" to the "casual" gamer.

Multimedia Fusion: Has that time already come? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988269)

[Single-player video games] may also finally find a voice and become as established as novels and graphics and authoring tools may become so advanced that a single author can purchase something titled gameshop pro and start whipping out a game that will be marketable in a year

Let me fix that: "authoring tools may become so advanced that a single author can purchase something titled Multimedia Fusion or Adobe Flash and start whipping out a game that will be marketable in a year." This already happens. The real question is whether console gatekeepers such as Nintendo are willing to open themselves up to microISVs.

Re:Multimedia Fusion: Has that time already come? (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988351)

Haha, wow, I guess I made all kinds of crazy statements without clarification. While the flash game market has been around for a while, a large amount of the memorable flash games were created by people with graphic based artistic ability and an understanding of unique and compelling game mechanics. What I was thinking was more along the lines of being able to create/use advanced graphics and elements to convey a story that is both compelling and entertaining. What I was thinking was a toolset so powerful that a single person can create a 3d game like morrowind in under a year. Currently, an author uses a text editor or word processor to create a world inhabited by characters with motives and personality. I was thinking that a future author will be able to use a toolset that makes it so easy to create 3d models and textures, levels and dialogue, that the only limit is the authors imagination, not skill set, man hour limits, and budget that we see in today's games. Essentially, creating a game would be as easy as writing a novel. It's easy if you have the vision and persistence.

This would be a world where best selling authors have to share the lime light with a NY times best-selling game designer on a list that is updated weekly.

Re:Multimedia Fusion: Has that time already come? (1)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989081)

Ouch. Since when writing a novel is easy? Writing games needs talent. I understand that today you have to put together a skilled team in many areas - coders, 3D modellers, level designers, 2D artists for textures and sketches, and possibly a lot more that I may be missing. Not to mention actually good management unless you want to end up like 3DRealms. BUT, you will always need talent. Perhaps you can have a framework that may drastically reduce the need for coders, given a certain engine. But there is no way you can have all the rest simply pop out of thin air.

Re:Addendum (0, Flamebait)

ahabswhale (1189519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988359)

Q3 is hardly the pinnacle of twitch gaming. UT2k4 is the pinnacle of twitch gaming. There's nothing more twitch than that. I know, I've played every FPS you've ever heard of. There is no game that moves as fast or requires as rapid and accurate a response as UT2k4. Unfortunately, U3 moved away from that. They killed the skill of the game and as far as I'm concerned FPSs are in a downward spiral where it's all about great graphics and gameplay is a distant second. Btw, I'm 44 and I LOVE twitch. I expect to always love it so please don't speak for everyone by saying that twitch has no future. Twitch gamers still exist, they still LOVE twitch, it's the game producers who have abandoned us. Every game is dumbed down so that any no talent hack can play and have a chance. It's the LCD formula that so pervades society. I don't mind the existence of such games per se except for the fact that publishers know there's more money in making them so real gamers get left out in the cold.

Sadly, I have a feeling I'll still be playing UT2k4 ten years from now.

Re:Addendum (2, Insightful)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988497)

I dunno. It was my impression that ut2k3/4 was a mix of the strategic encounter of UT with the twitch of Q3. UT2k4 has too many effective spam weapons to be as twitchy as q3. In my mind, the pinnacle of Twitch was running around with the q3 railgun. It was also my impression that ut2k3 was more twitch than ut2k4.

I absolutely believe that the developers are abandoning the twitch gameplay for something more "accessible". Its a real minority that is willing to tune their reflexes and system to such a degree that they would bring themselves into what I would classify as Twitch. Combine that with the illusion of pc piracy (the scape goat for developers switching over to the massive base of consoles and the $60 price point), and developers switch to console dynamics, which are very unfavorable to twitch games.

That also explains why there aren't as many twitch gamers in u3, they stayed with ut2k4.

Re:Addendum (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988557)

UT2k3/4 does support more strategic game modes however, it still supports good ol' death match (and variations of death match). UT has MUCH faster movement than the other games which is why faster reflexes are required. In addition to the spam weps you referred to, there are the sniper rifle and lighting gun which are the same thing as the rail gun. However, the shock rifle is probably the ultimate twitch weapon. The only people in UT2k4 who rely on spam weps like the chaingun and flak canon are noobs and those who for some reason refuse to learn how to shoot but they get owned most of the time regardless.

Re:Addendum (2, Interesting)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988625)

After i posted, i realized i didn't properly define strategic encounter. Essentially, in Q3, unless your target had extra armor or health, a railgun was an instant kill. They also had what seemed like an eternity while the rail-gun cycled shots, so if you missed someone, you were pretty much dead, so it had to be the first shot and accurate. The lightening gun or sniper rifle were only fatal with a headshot, but the sniper rifle cycled fast enough that you could get off the required torso shots with proper dodging. The lightning gun is similar and I think that at the highest echelons of UT2k3/4 go for headshots and that could be the dynamic. I can't come up with a clear definition that excludes counter strike, cod, and bf2, all of which I consider to be more strategic in their encounters than twitch based.

While you will disagree with me, twitch game play = 1 shot per encounter between a 2 sided match if executed well (i.e. whoever gets the first shot gets a kill, instantly), and a strategic match requires having to cycle through multiple shots before one side falls. There were more strategic fights in ut2k3 at the higher levels than there were in q3. I think that a few dynamics in ut2k3 extended life expectancy in a fire fight from Q3 and those dynamics weren't terribly diminished in ut2k4. For example, a well timed jump would prevent the lightning gun or sniper rifle from being a 1 shot kill, but the railgun didn't need a headshot.

I'm not quite sure what to make of instagib as I've always found it far easier than traditional gameplay modes.

Re:Addendum (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988763)

What you're describing is more or less instagib gameplay via a specific weapon which you can also do on UT2k3/4. However, instagib != twitch. "Twitch" is simply reaction time + accuracy oriented gameplay which UT2k3/4 has in spades regardless of whether you are on an instagib server. I find UT2k4 much more twitchy due to the fact that movement is vastly faster than it is in Q3 and similar games. Source and target can be moving in different directions at very high rates of speed and it requires a great deal of skill (and twitch) to make those shots regardless of whether they result in instant kills.

Re:Addendum (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988839)

Ah, I agree with you about movement speed, but every time I fire up q3 or even quake live, it feels like the movement speed of q3 is faster than ut2k4. UT2K4 just has what seem like smaller targets because the maps tend to be bigger to make room for double jumps and sprints. I've played on Q3 conversion maps where the map was scaled to match the player character size (in ut2k3, the PC size was decreased by 25% compared to the maps that were remade from UT to allow for the double jump), and the feeling was far less twitchy than the original Q3 maps.

Re:Addendum (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989149)

Actually BF2 is just as twitchy as UT2k4. There's no debating that after you've seen a sniper dolphin dive across the map dropping claymores in people's faces and instapopping them at point blank.

Enough with this "plot" nonsense (1, Insightful)

Mprx (82435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987879)

Games are not art, and games are not a substitute for novels and movies. Games are games, and should play to their own strengths instead of poorly emulating other media. I hope that 20 years from now people will have realized that "narrative games" are a dead end. Interactive storytelling is "AI complete", so the only satisfactory way to include it in games is to use a real intelligent storyteller, as with pencil and paper RPGs. As graphics and physics simulation improve but narrative choice remains the same the railroading will only get more distracting.

The only change I anticipate in my game playing is switching from action to strategy if my reaction time slows too much.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (2, Interesting)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987947)

While i prefer something with non-linear levels* that and a non-rigid plot, i think there is a place for final fantasy, halo, et al. An good plot can definatly defiantly a positive, but i do hope that games based that don't really care much for a plot and are just about the game stick around too. There is a balance somewhere between HL(1) and FF

*these seam to be disappearing because it takes so long to develop levels that studios don't want to waste development time on stuff that will never be seen.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (1)

bluesatin (1350681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988009)

I would disagree, I rescently played the game "Indigo Prophecy" also known as "Fahrenheit" in the US. Even though the plot is a bit ridiculous I loved it, and the ending I got (I presume there was multiple endings) was also less than satisfactory but overall I really enjoyed it.

Due to my young age I've never really played any of the older games which I've heard included a lot of "interactive novels" depending on what you define one as. I'd love to try a few more of these games in this style, it makes a nice change from other types of game.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (2, Informative)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988459)

I don't know if you are including text-based games, but if you are, google "interactive fiction" and go to some of the links. I couldn't find a good starter link (ifarchive.org and http://www.ifwiki.org/index.php/FAQ [ifwiki.org] are a bit unwieldy for a starter, IMHO), but if you search around you can find info about text adventures and ones that are still being developed (and tools to develop your own that will play on essentially every personal computer ever made).

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (4, Insightful)

ouimetch (1433125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988019)

While some games are just games, there are many games that have a very artistic style to them. I remember playing Fallout 3 and just stopping and staring around at the scenery once I got outside of vault 101. It is certainly safe to say that many games transcend being simply entertainment, and have enough style and beauty to invoke a powerful emotional reaction in many of its users. Isn't creating an emotional response what art is all about?

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (1)

ageoffri (723674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988033)

I found the most interesting thing about Fallout 3 is the CTD's it gives. Amazing game to play on the PC.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (2, Insightful)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988045)

Of course games are "art" or whatever arbitrary labels people feel compelled to attribute to games. Or any other media. It's like saying photography isn't art because it should play its own "strength" instead of poorly emulating... painting? In any case mindless games are fun sometimes, but even a plot that's arbitrary can still be fun. This article leaves out the possibility that we could have implanted devices anyway and something as trivial as eye sight or reaction time wouldn't matter. One can only hope anyway. Maybe if I pray *realllly* hard at FSM.

Photography's strength is obvious... (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989177)

Lensflare. JJ Abrams certainly agrees.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (4, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988069)

Games are not art

Says who?

Sure, there's no need for a plot in a simple shoot 'em up, but I think good storytelling is important to things such as role-playing games. No, it's not a full blown AI, but neither is a book or a movie. Surely part of the fun is using your imagination, just as we are expected to do for books.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (1)

JJJK (1029630) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988115)

If movies are art, then games are art. Look at what types of movies exist today and what types of games might exist once they completly shed their "kids only"-image. But I agree that they will continue to coexist and be separated for many years.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (2, Interesting)

Mprx (82435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988199)

Movies are art because movies can inspire the full range of human emotions. The only emotions a good game inspires are frustration of defeat and joy of victory (which cannot exist without the former). These emotions are intrinsically linked to the game itself, and don't require any cutscenes or dialog.

If a game is trying to inspire any other emotion it is failing as a game. You can tell this is true because removing all the "gameplay" would improve it, eg. JRPGs would be better without all the random battles, wandering about the map, item management, etc. If the game were really good you would get annoyed at all the interruptions to the playable parts. It would be better to separate the "artistic" parts and repackage them as a movie or illustrated novel.

Games are supposed to be fun, not something you have to grind through to get to the "plot" and "achievements". The fun comes from challenging yourself and developing your skills, not mindlessly pressing buttons like a laboratory rat.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27988291)

The only emotions a good game inspires are frustration of defeat and joy of victory... If a game is trying to inspire any other emotion it is failing as a game.

Obviously, you haven't played anything after Pac-Man.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (1)

Mprx (82435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988381)

I have, and Pac-Man is better than most of them.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27988425)

Should I say, I watched many movies and popcorn is better than most of them?

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988591)

I think I would agree that Pac-Man is better than most of them, but I think it's silly to say that games aren't art. While one might argue that using cut scenes in games makes them more like a movie, then using offscreen narrators in movies is the same sort of "removing oneself from the medium" technique, and both can be overused. (I certainly don't like *really long* cut scenes, especially ones that can't be skipped.. But they can be entertaining and moving.)

Plus, I think you should play Ico if you want to see a game that can have an impact.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (1)

Mprx (82435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988635)

I already played Ico. The combat system really sucked. I liked some of the level design, but the "storytelling" would have worked better as a movie (even as machinima).

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988619)

Movies are art because movies can inspire the full range of human emotions. The only emotions a good game inspires are frustration of defeat and joy of victory (which cannot exist without the former). These emotions are intrinsically linked to the game itself, and don't require any cutscenes or dialog.

Um, have you played anything more involved than an Atari 2600 game?

If a game is trying to inspire any other emotion it is failing as a game. You can tell this is true because removing all the "gameplay" would improve it, eg. JRPGs would be better without all the random battles, wandering about the map, item management, etc. If the game were really good you would get annoyed at all the interruptions to the playable parts. It would be better to separate the "artistic" parts and repackage them as a movie or illustrated novel.

So wait, you would rather have a J-RPG thats a point and click adventure? Sure, sometimes random battles are annoying, sure, sometimes you think you would do better without them, but they add depth to the game and can be used in very creative ways (such as Pokemon). Wandering about the map is also part of the fun, otherwise the game becomes a chore. So what do you want to do? Have a point and click adventure with no plot, only boss battles and a giant checklist?

Games are supposed to be fun, not something you have to grind through to get to the "plot" and "achievements". The fun comes from challenging yourself and developing your skills, not mindlessly pressing buttons like a laboratory rat.

Um, so what games do you classify as "fun"? Pac-Man, Galaga, Space Invaders? You obviously haven't experienced a game with a decent storyline. They can invoke many, many, many emotions. Have you not played Final Fantasy VII and experienced its plot? Have you never played Halo and realized that it was a good game because of the strong plot?

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (1)

Mprx (82435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988775)

For the best JRPG, read "Fate/Stay Night". All cut scenes all the time! There's the same battles and statistics and magic items you'd expect, but none of that tedious "gameplay". It even has the same illusionary choice as with traditional JRPG "optional" content, with a completion meter to make sure you exhaustively explore all of it.

Pac-Man, Galaga and Space Invaders are indeed good games, but they are obsoleted by modern arcade games. Play some of Cave's recent games for example (or for something more easily accessible but still superb, DoDonPachi). Fast paced competitive FPSs are also good, such as Quake 3.

I played FFVII when it was first released. I even cried when Aeris died. But I was a child back then, so I had much lower standards.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (2, Insightful)

Shivani1141 (996696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988235)

I for one Love the opportunity a game provides for attention to specific detail and the scenario. If in a novel a writer were to spend a half or more of a chapter explaining the history of a minor character or the role of a nation, it might be seen as a waste of page space. Whereas in a Video game it is completely feasable to do this. You insert characters into optional areas or an inn or the like, that explains these things at the players option, thereby enriching the experience for those who choose to take the time.

There are numerous examples of exactly this type of content in most Final Fantasy games, But also Atlus titles, etc. Infact it's found in pretty much every critically acclaimed single player rpg.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (1)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988721)

Games are certainly art... but I think you're right that games must not emulate other media. The essence of gaming is competition and interactivity. Filling your game with cutscreens just cuts down on the game play. But games need not be cinematic to be art. The gameplay itself can say something about the human experience. It doesn't need a plot tacked on to communicate something valuable.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988937)

I always thought the Marathon trilogy was a nice combo of action & puzzle solving with a great story thread put in. There's an open source project called Aelph One that lets you play the old games plus a bunch of user-created scenarios. I'm not much of a gamer, so this is probably the pinnacle of my ability.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989097)

Games are not art

You clearly have not played a lot of games then.

Ask anyone who's played the Zelda series, or Final Fantasy, or Wizadry, or Ultama.
Excellent story telling.

Or even games like Oblivion, Fallout, and WoW for visually artistic games.

An overreaching statement like yours by that fact alone is bound to be incorrect. But its hard for real gamers to even understand your thinking at all if that is all you can say.

Re:Enough with this "plot" nonsense (0)

Mprx (82435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989127)

Those are games with some art tacked on. The art would be better without a game holding it back, and the games would probably have been made better if there was no art distracting from the problems.

Virtual Reality (1)

Warlord88 (1065794) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987881)

I'm waiting for virtual reality gaming. Like the one they used to show on "Real Adventures of Johnny Quest" [wikipedia.org] . TFA mentions it briefly. No idea whether that kind of technology will be possible in 30 years.

Whaaa (1, Insightful)

moogied (1175879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987955)

I'm sorry, but wtf?? When will the FRIGEN industry understand that the LAST thing gamers care about is the frigen technology?? We just want NO lag, good FPS, and heres a crazy ass idea.. GAMEPLAY.

Everything else is just wasting everyones money and time.

Re:Whaaa (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988063)

Save a few servers on TF2 with a low douchebag content, I'm done with FPSes. The genre is stale and lukewarm. Western gamers are like binge drinking frat boys. Is it flat? Stale? Barely lower than room temp? As long as it gets you to where you're going...

Seriously, I've seen gaming go from street fighter to quake, to a game like Rogue Spear or Metal Gear Solid, back to crap like Half Life 2, and Halo.

Re:Whaaa (1)

Latinhypercube (935707) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988645)

Yeah, walking around viewing everything through your own perspective is SOO over rated. Personally I now have a camera mounted 2 meters above my head, feeding a headmounted display so I don't have to deal with boring first person perspectives. I wish I could just get rid of perspective all together. Dammit, visual gaming is soo 80's.

Re:Whaaa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27989093)

crap like Half Life 2, and Halo.

Well Half-life 2 has a 96/100 metacritic score, so yeah a lot of people disagree on that one. It was pretty innovative with respect to all the interaction you could have with your surroundings.
Halo had a 97 if I'm not mistaken.

Re:Whaaa (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#27989201)

It was pretty innovative with respect to all the interaction you could have with your surroundings.

What interactions where there? You could shoot people in the face and maybe look at a new paper pinned to a wall and play around with physic engine techdemo tool (aka gravity gun), but thats pretty much all there was, you couldn't even talk to NPCs. Might have been innovative for FPS standards, but those standards are rather low to begin with. Games like The Last Express are a lot more impressive when it comes to interactive storytelling.

Ewwwww (3, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987957)

Have you seen what's out there on the Internet? I'm not sure I want that stuff smeared all over my meatspace.

Stupid article... (2, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987979)

... If anything it is the OLD TIMERS in the game industry making games, Chris Taylor, will Wright, etc... hardcore gamers grow up and get jobs in the gaming industry. The so called "young gamers" will get old one day too.

This stupid idea that all older gamers are a homogenous group vs younger gamers is stupid, there are lots of young gamers that prefer games that the older generation does because they are at HEART gamers. They aren't in gaming for the fads, they are in it for the fun.

There is discontent among older gamers about what they best games were newer vs older, we are not a homogenous group so lets not pretend that somehow young gamers will not like anything older gamers like and vice versa.

no (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27987985)

I refuse to believe my amazing Counter-Strike skills will diminish over time.

Because when I'm 60, I'll be fragging 16 year olds in the newest Counter-Strike iteration, and be able to retort to any flame with "Boy, I was playing this game when your daddy was in diapers".

Anything as long as... (1)

PottedMeat (1158195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27987999)

I can do it while stoned. Which is how I intend to spend my entire retirement. Until then I'll live in semi-retirement. ;)

a dupe post from 2000? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988169)

But the sixty-something gamers of 2020 are not the same as the sixty-somethings you know today. They're you, only twenty years older.

Is this a dupe from Y2K? 2020 - 20 = 2000

And they're going to be playing on these exotic gizmos descended from the iPhone and its clones: gadgets

... with screens the size of a postage stamp?

He has to be kidding. I won't play games on my phone because the screen is too small, and I'm a "young guy". My grandma uses a magnifying glass to operate her TV remote control. I have a 24 inch monitor for a reason, and its not to justify buying pants with 24 inch wide pockets. Similarly, my nice zillion watt surround sound subwoofer speaker system is not quite as portable as my phone. Without a mouse or trackball I would not be able to play FPS.

Trying to convince me to "upgrade" from my current system to a cellphone is about as likely as convincing me to "upgrade" back to msdos 3.3, CGA graphics, and a 40 MB pre-IDE era hardcard.

Re:a dupe post from 2000? (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988477)

He went on to talk about microprojectors, as well as glasses that give the illusion of sitting in front of a full-blown computer screen and keyboard.

For actual writing (whether code or prose) nothing beats a full-sized keyboard like the one I'm using in front of my keyboard.

However, there will doubtless exist objects roughly like the iPhone which project a full-size screen, and either use accelerometers to stabilize the image, or simply require you to mount it somewhere stationary. It would basically be like using a DS as a console controller, only with the console in the DS.

To be clear, my favorite games will always be those played in front of a monitor (possibly with some gesture interface) and a full-fledged keyboard.

Trying to be too hip... (0, Troll)

MadMorf (118601) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988189)

...gadgets that don't so much provide access to the internet as smear the internet all over the meatspace world around their owners

Using the term "meatspace", automatically identifies you a hipster doofus in my book...

 

Re:Trying to be too hip... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988507)

Using the term "meatspace", automatically identifies you a hipster doofus in my book...

When I try a line like this, it's toasted: I don't know what YUI know [slashdot.org]

A big world, in which you can be young again (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988227)

Something like Second Life 3.x, or the virtual world in Snow Crash. Or GTA as a MMORPG.

(I'm surprised that there isn't an online version of GTA yet. Admittedly it's tough to do well until the lag problem is solved. We need networks where you're guaranteed about 10KB/s with under 50ms of round trip delay, for the data that really has to be timely. The rest of the data (geometry updates, etc.) can have far more lag, but a fraction of the data needs priority. The QoS people need to get their act together, so that clients and servers can request a low-bandwidth low-latency end to end path. To make this work, the bandwidth has to be limited.)

Re:A big world, in which you can be young again (1)

centuren (106470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988285)

It seems like GTA online could be done now, as long as the implementation was such that people with high lag didn't affect the performance of other players in the same world without lag. After all, it seems like there's plenty of people who don't care enough about gameplay to let a laggy connection stop them, and I've never heard anyone with a great connection complain about being able to easily kill them.

Obligatory... (1)

LaurieDash (983898) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988267)

Not really much point extrapolating beyond 2012... (now i would like to put a tounge in cheek or winky smiley but i fear in the /. world it's the mark of a moron... actually fuck it...) :P

Ranbow's End (4, Interesting)

marciot (598356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988325)

Reading through that article made me think of the novel "Rainbow's End" by Vernor Vinge:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbows_End [wikipedia.org]

He spends a lot of time in that novel describing a world where augmented reality and total interconnectedness makes our day-to-day living into an ginourmous Second Life-esque, instant-messaging, avatar-riddled inferno.

I found it to be a difficult book to get through, because I kept thinking to myself, I don't believe people will be so banal as to take such incredible technology and make it into something so frivolous and pointless.

But, then I realize, it has already happened, and it's naive to think it won't happen again.

-- Marcio

Future of humans (1)

FooRat (182725) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988389)

I don't know about you, but I could really do with a prosthetic memory like that -- and as our populations age, as more people have to live with dementia, there'll be huge demand for it

Actually, if you look at all the current research going on, there is a good chance that by 2020 (and an extremely good chance by 2030) that we will have cures for most forms of dementia (i.e. Alzheimers etc.) by then.

Re:Future of humans (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988661)

cures for most forms of dementia

That is assuming we have survived bird flu, swine flu, horse flu, goat flu, and mad politician disease.

Not to mention globule warming.

The end of linear games (4, Interesting)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988395)

Games of today look great, but a couple of aspects of some of the most popular games like GTA, Call of Duty and Resident Evil are outdated and I'll take the optimistic risk to say they'll soon start to disappear.

I'm talking about ultra linearity (yes, even GTA is very linear) and the annoying aspects that accompany it, most noticeably the "try this missing again and again and again until you succeed it", and to a lesser extent to put the player in a ultra scripted environment where you could pretty much dictate them what they have to do, and have to prevent them from doing such trivial things as jumping over a small fence. As games become ever increasingly realistic, those sorts of unrealistic limitations are becoming important threats to the player's suspension of disbelief, and game designers will I believe have to get more subtle and work their way around it.

But in my opinion both the problems of linearity and unrealistic limitations means that game designers and developers will enter an uphill battle to rethink the aforementioned ageing paradigms, but I think that in a way those new paradigms will be the new shiny graphics. To use the GTA series as an example, right now it's basically all centred around a long string of very scripted fixed missions cut with cinematics, with an "either succeed in all the required aspects or try again like nothing happened" system which is arguably incompatible with realism. In my opinion, the GTA of the future should be much more life-like, dynamic, one way to see how it would work would be like the Sims series, you are one person, you make encounters, create connections, obtain things from your connections such as jobs or whatever you may need, and everything you would do would have an influence of sorts. Fail a job and you have to deal with the consequences and impact on your reputation, start shooting people at random and you earn a reputation of psychopathic killer, by drugs, sell them on someone else's turf and watch things escalating with them, become a real estate agent, spend ten years in jail, join a gang, start a gang and delegate tasks, become a politician, etc, in other words, a free unscripted crime world/business world simulator.

I'm not saying it would be easy at all to create, but I think there is lots to be done and innovated in that domain, and I think and hope that within the next few years game designers will see themselves forced to explore such solutions, and if it becomes a crucial aspect of making a successful game then great resources, talent and work will be put into it and the results will be very much worth it. Since both the market and technology push us towards realism we'll have to make things realistic in more ways than just the reflections on cars or the physics of driving.

Re:The end of linear games (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988757)

Fail a job and you have to deal with the consequences and impact on your reputation, start shooting people at random and you earn a reputation of psychopathic killer, by drugs, sell them on someone else's turf and watch things escalating with them, become a real estate agent, spend ten years in jail, join a gang, start a gang and delegate tasks, become a politician, etc

That sounds too much like real life. Can't I just shoot monsters in some underground bunker?

Today's 60-something gamer... (4, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988451)

But the sixty-something gamers of 2020 are not the same as the sixty-somethings you know today. They're you, only twenty years older. By then, you'll have a forty year history of gaming; you won't take kindly to being patronised, or given in-game tasks calibrated for today's sixty-somethings

Today's sixty-something gamer doesn't like being patronized either.

If you began with the PC in your thirties, you entered a game market that remarkably diverse and often explicitly "adult."

But not as the adolescent imagines it. You can't shoot your way through a Lucas adventure or a Maxis simulation.

For a senior, the most satisfying moments in a stealth shooter, an RPG or strategy game, come when you sense the most economical solution. You aren't role playing as 007 in his prime - you are playing the aging, wounded Batman of The Dark Night Returns or perhaps the very young Carrie Kelley.

Without gadgets. Without armor.

Using only her wits to survive.

I'd like to inform the author of TFA... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27988733)

You don't have to be in your sixties to have "presbyopic" eyes.

And the notion that we're going to be playing our games on "exotic gizmos descended from the iPhone" sort of defies current trends.

I especially can't imagine playing a game on any descendant of the iPhone if I'm going to have "presbyopic eyes", unless the author foresees us connecting our iPhone-descendants to large displays and HID controllers, which sort of defeats the whole purpose of using the iPhone descendant.

Other than all of its assertions, the article is fine.

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