While there is no industry safe from the constant changes in technology and everything it has to offer, gaming is often one of the first industries to be hit when a new technology comes out to play. In fact, more often than not, these new technologies are developed with the world of gaming in mind. With Virtual Reality creating a new level of gaming immersion, and bitcoin technology creating the potential for a new industrial revolution, there is no shortage of changes created by the latest technology. Those of us who find ourselves immersed in the world of all things game, the potential changes we might face as technologies become available are a genuine concern, so for a more in depth look into our gaming experiences and how technologies are starting to change them, take a look at our list below.
Blockchain technology is having a huge effect on gaming – at least where online gaming is concerned. Game developers that publish their games via Blockchain technology will have a whole new level of control over their games. They won’t have to worry about gaming platforms that take a cut of their profit, or the limitations of what each platform will take or the technology it will accept. Gamers currently have to deal with ‘gatekeepers’ – centralised organisations that dictate prices, taxes and control content. Blockchain will not only give game developers more freedom and control over their own developments, but will also provide a more secure system in which to upload. As well as game developers, gamers will also be given a level of control back over their experiences. They’ll have better control over rules, control over their access and control over in-world currencies and transactions through the use of secure cryptocurrencies that also work on a blockchain systems.
Facial Recognition technology is a rapidly developing one, and it’s only a matter of time before the gaming industry will be using this to its full advantage. Intel’s RealSense 3D Camera is allowing developers to scan the emotions of the gamer simply by scanning 78 different points on a person’s face. From these emotions, the game can adjust to fit the needs and wishes of a gamer. For example, if the gamer appears stressed, the game could adjust in difficulty to make things a little easier, or if the player seems bored or uninterested, it could hike up in difficult or action to capture their attention.
Anyone with any interest in technology and gaming right now will know about Virtual Reality. VR headsets are being seen in stores and on adverts all over the globe, and it’s no secret how far the horizons of gaming can go with the immersive world we now have available to us. Oculus Rift is Facebook’s answer to VR, and is one of the most widely available currently. It’s also just the first step to a whole world immersed in virtual reality. With talks of group world for Virtual Reality becoming possible, you may not even need to wander a virtual world alone. After all, if you can play a console with friends, why not play in your VR world with them too?
Similar to Virtual Reality in a sense, Augmented Reality takes the world around you and adds something digital to it. Perhaps the most well-known augmented reality today is the app Pokemon Go which took the world by storm only last year. Augmented Reality is often a digital overlay through your phone or a handheld console or in Microsoft’s case, the AR Headset IllumiRoom. This headset enhances the viewer’s experience by using your surroundings for its games by projecting them onto the furniture and walls around you.
Perhaps the biggest example of wearable gaming that we can give you is the Apple Watch. While it’s not directly designed for gaming, it certainly pushed forward the wearable gaming industry – at least where apps and technology are concerned. With the wearable technology available to us today, we can game on the go without it being too invasive. Companies who jumped on the bandwagon for wearable technology back when smartwatches were still a confusing concept are now looking for different and interesting ways to include gaming in their products, though there is always the battle of incorporating these games into such small screens. So it begs the question – what kind of games are possible? Will they be standalone games on your watch? Or extensions of games available on your mobile?
Speaking of mobile gaming, technology has brought gaming to a whole new level when it comes to gaming and everything that it can offer us. Smart Phone usage has risen to an incredible level, and the gaming industry most definitely took that within its stride. Gone are the days where the only game we could play on our phone was Snake. With smartphones and the app store, games available to us on mobile are close to rivalling that which we can play on consoles. Game developers are being opened up to a whole new world of platforms to produce games onto, and ways to make their work far more accessible and widely available. The potential in the world of Mobile Gaming is unrivalled by any other platform, so watch this space.
Social Media and Gaming
Social Media is adding a whole new level to the gaming experience. While online gaming isn’t a new concept, it’s certainly new and interesting to see what levels social media have gone to get involved with games. Virtual Worlds aren’t uncommon, but a new generation of games have brought a smoother, more in depth and console-like way of gaming from your PC. Minecraft and Roblox, for example, make for a family friendly experience for younger generations and older gamers alike. There are opportunities for friends to meet up in online versions of worlds and work together to build and work on things collaboratively. The world of consoles isn’t missing out, however. The newest consoles often have social media features, giving you the option to talk to your friends while you play, or share your progress on your favourite social media sites. While all of this is already available, there’s no doubt that things are only going to get better and more in depth with the more that social media and gaming develop.