The incredible secret future of videogames

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The battle for the future of gaming has begun, but whose predictions should we believe and what really lies ahead?

Ray Kurzweil believes that "games are the harbinger of everything." The noted inventor and futurologist, who believes in technological immortality and transhuman ascension via artificial intelligence, made this statement at last year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. He argued that videogames were where the future manifested itself. "Ultimately," he said, "they're going to be competitive with real reality." A bold claim indeed.... read more

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The incredible secret future of videogames

Postby Dajmin » 14 Sep 2009, 12:35

Interesting article, although I'm not sure I agree with all of their predictions for the future. I imagine there'd be a potential human rights nightmare if you had nanobots floating around in you - a simple virus would have the potential to completely destroy you. If they can control what you see and hear, they'd have the ability to run you off a building or in front of a very non-virtual truck. But it'd be sweet up until then :)

But it's a big industry. In terms of time spent per sale, it's probably the biggest. You might see a couple of summer blockbusters, totalling 2 sales and 4 hours, but 2 games will net you far more time than that (or you'd complain).

And the limitations imposed by improved graphics is a rubbish argument - that's media size and hardware restricted. Halo 3 could have had improved AI if they had a human brain CPU and unlimited storage space to put it on.
We're going to get to 100% photo-quality in the next few years and at that point it's going to be all about stylised graphics (feeling like you're actually in in a 40s noir movie? WIN!) and innovation in game styles.

But in 20 years time if we're all part of Starfleet I call shotgun on the holodeck :)
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Postby The_KFD_Case » 14 Sep 2009, 13:28

One of the more interesting gaming articles I've read in years. Well done Jim and PC Gamer.
"Unfounded optimism is no worse than relentless pessimism."
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Postby Soviet1918 » 14 Sep 2009, 19:57

Good read , but as for The battle for the future of gaming has begun, but whose predictions should we believe and what really lies ahead? thing im inclined not to go along with anything they say, the future has a habit of moving the goal posts making predictions impossible.
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Postby monty_79 » 14 Sep 2009, 20:09

It's a pity that such a great article has only mustered 3 comments! I would also like to pass my compliments on to Jim for a fascinating read.
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Postby evileyecheese » 14 Sep 2009, 21:49

i dont find it all that interesting. but it scares the s**t out of me. being one of the few who find mobile phones and associated tec quite repulsive
this whole topic has made me feel quite ill

its the devil ... run away :twisted:
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Postby hotconflict » 15 Sep 2009, 10:13

***ATTENTION GROUND CREW*** All members of the Galactic Federation here on Earth must learn to discern the truth. If you know you are a member of the ground crew, listen to this message. Free reminders to trigger consciousness for all enlightened path showers.

http://www.hotconflict.com/blog/stories ... phets.html
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Postby LordVonPS3 » 15 Sep 2009, 13:08

CVG wrote:The battle for the future of gaming has begun, but whose predictions should we believe and what really lies ahead?


LordVonPS3's predictions. Believe.
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Postby Masterspy » 17 Sep 2009, 12:55

Interesting stuff, article reminds me a little of the new Surrogates film coming out, or Gamer.. seems everyone is going tech mad at the minute
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Postby EtsSpets » 21 Sep 2009, 11:30

A cute story indeed, but there is nothing revolutionary about it. The entire story could be paralleled with Star Trek s holodeck, where an AI supercomputer generated all kinds of scenes and circumstances etc.

I have also written about my vision http://etssptes.wordpress.com/ "The Future 1/3 to 3/3" i kinda skimmed the topic, nothing in-depth there.
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Postby the688 » 12 Oct 2009, 21:11

We're going to get to 100% photo-quality in the next few years

I think I've heard that statement too much over the last 10 years of gaming. Photorealism? Hmm. A run-of-the-mill DSLR camera has 12mpix these days. They're gonna have to invent some revolutionary monitors soon - not to mention the graphics cards.

Photorealism is marketing BS. When the first 3DFX "Voodoo" cards came out, everyone said "It's almost photorealistic" - and REAL photorealism is only around the next corner! Wait and see!

No - photorealism isn't.

One of the things that WILL need to be worked on - significantly - is AI, and interaction. Most games today (sadly!) are still just Wolfenstein 3D, with higher resolution textures, and faster framerates. We're still running around in confined spaces (though truly groundbreaking games like Operation Flashpoint - and before that Delta Force - have shown what is possible, if we sacrifice some eyecandy) shooting at stupid bots (or stupid people) and picking up medkits.

If gaming is to become more real, we need to involve the other senses - not just vision. It's a sad fact that 95% of games that are released, are not in any way new, revolutionary, or even moderately original. We're happy if there's a new bunch of maps, the odd multiplayer mode, and some achievements.

If we want "the future" and "the next big thing™" in gaming, we need to look to games like Flashpoint, and other groundbreakers in other areas (the Source engine was a major landmark in physics, for example - but it's not really letting me run around on an entire island or 5).

We have a lot of different "directions" that games are going. Eyecandy, or "photorealism" is by far the *least* important - but the easiest one to slap on the back of a box, and sell. And ATi and nVidia sure would love for us to not notice that the same boring old wine doesn't taste better because the bottle gets prettier. They're doing quite well so far, sadly. People buy new GPU's every year, so the game devs "need" to put out games with awesome graphics. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy of crap.

I've recently picked up Neverwinter Nights 2. A marvellous game. It's not pretty, but there's great storytelling, there's lots of believeable interaction with NPCs - friendly and hostile - and it feels like your actions and dialogues *really* affect the game. It's a great contrast to that hollow feeling you get after completing yet another shooter like Darkest of Days or Wolfenstein. Sure, there's new people to shoot at - but really - is that progress? Is that where we've ended up after several decades of game development? FIFA 10, and generic shooters?

Simulators have all but died. RPG's are struggling (Diablo isn't an RPG, please). All the niche games, that took gaming to new creative places - they're gone. Now all we get is DX11-effects, and shinier guns. Whoop-de-effin-doo.

And we've got noone to blame but ourselves.
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Postby Skuz » 13 Oct 2009, 21:24

The problem that occurs with "near photo-realism" is termed "the uncanny valley", when something is trying hard to be realistic, but isn't, the brain has an odd response which causes you to percieve the object or scene or individual as being rather percersely strange, a smile becomes a sly evil grin, a knowing look becomes an evil stare.....things get very weirded out.

I'd say the future will have several "hiccups" along the way, nanobots or "inward" technology wont be viable for a long time yet, & even when they are there will need to be some heavy safeguards on exactly what they do....& messing with what you actually see by modifying reality by way of such devices could have actual medical benefits, restoring sight to the blind by providing them a virtual representation of reality for example, or giving the completely deaf hearing once again, games will be there as a testing ground for some of these things but I don't think that the future predicted by the people in this article is entirely false, some of it will hold true but most of it will be way off.

Artificial Intelligence is a can of worms we need to be prepared for handling though.
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