What do you believe is the most important, recent development in games and why?
I believe that the most important development in games in recent years is the amount of research that is put into games. The time where we used to just shoot at aliens is long gone, we now gain knowledge through games, either playing them or making them. Video games have gained such an important status in our every day life that even in classrooms games are used to teach.
Now that games are more and more story driven, almost like Hollywood movies, there is a much greater part of research, for example in history. A good example of this is the Assassin’s Creed series, though the story isn’t based on facts, the historical period and environments are, and that is all due to research. Making video games makes us explore, research, interpret and deepen the knowledge on Physics, Chemistry, History, Geography and much more. We, as game designers, can be a part of the evolution of any of those areas because gamers enjoy when it’s more realistic. Assassin’s Creed wouldn’t be such a success if Venice from the 1500’s weren’t accurate.
Will Wright’s example, Spore, is also a great example of this, he teaches the basics of Darwin’s evolution through a game where you play as a cell and evolve from there into the new species!
The species evolves, so does the student. Now that the game industry is at a high peak and everyone enjoys games, it’s essential that the teaching methods evolve too, and that is what’s happening in various schools, children learning through games. Doyle’s example is a great one, where she taught kids through a simulated computer game where the students had to learn the patterns of the “enemy”.
Another great development related to knowledge, is the way the world is shifting towards approving games as beneficial for brain and body development: greater sense of analysis, sharper reflexes and so on. Knowledge is the most important development in the game industry, whether it is the acceptances of games because they are now seen as beneficial or the knowledge we gain through them, it can only make society improve, because knowledge is what pushes society further.
Do you believe there are any upcoming developments in games that will revolutionize the industry?
I do believe that the industry will keep moving forward, the World surprises us every day, and the game industry won’t be an exception. I believe that games will play a major part in research of a lot of scientific areas, because it’s the way our children will be taught in the future. It seems that the tendency is to shift towards a digitally interactive classroom and courses will be less theoretical and more practical in years to come, and games will be a part of this revolution. There are already a great amount of software that are supposed to teach our children, but this is an area that will be developed deeper in years to come!
Wright Will. (2007, 17th July). Spore, birth of a game, TED Talks.
Sara Corbett. (2010, 15th September). Learning by Playing: Video Games in the Classroom. The New York Times.
I had this new assignment for my game history class where I had to choose 5 events that shaped the industry in recent years.
In chronological order, this is what I chose:
2004 – Nintendo Press Release about the first Dual Screen handheld
2006 – First clinic for video game addicts in Europe
2007 – Foundation of Zynga and the pioneer of social network gaming (Now with serious problems due to the shift to mobile gaming)
2012 – Death of 38 Studios and the 100$ Million debt
2013 – Brenda Romero’s resignation from IGDA after GDC party with exotic dancers