How the Video Games Drive Innovation in Tech

The global phenomenon that is video gaming has been a major driver in tech innovation, thanks to developers of both hardware and software components that are pushing back the boundaries of what seems possible. As likely as not, you will be familiar with consoles such as PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox, constantly updated by their makers Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, the giants of the console world.

Gaming development

Video gaming has always stretched the limits of what can be imagined and achieved, both graphically and in terms of intellectual stimulation and excitement. From the early arcade games such as Pong and Space Invaders to the complex, immersive games such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, the quest by developers for the next big thing is a constant.

Intriguingly, this constant development has led to gaming engines being a large driving force behind the growth of new technologies. Examples include implementations of WebGL, HTML5 Canvas programming and JavaScript browser-based libraries such as Three.js. The latter is a cross-browser library that you can use for the creation and display of animated 3D computer graphics using your web browser.

These technologies are offering more and more opportunities for programmers and designers to begin building games directly into the web browser experience.

Classic innovation

Although video games, particularly in arcades before the advent of the personal computer, have provided mass entertainment for decades, the graphics, sound and settings improving all the time, it was World of Warcraft, developed and released by Activision Blizzard under the leadership of Bobby Kotick that changed the nature of what gaming could offer. This massively multiplayer online role-playing game, released in 2004, was designed to provide an open environment in which players are permitted to do whatever they want. Stunning graphics and environments coupled with many ways of interacting as a character with other characters have led the game to become a world leader in terms of the number of subscribers it has.

Activision also released the iconic Call of Duty series, and this led to the Call of Duty Endowment, with Founder Bobby Kotick that supports war veterans.

Looking to the future

Innovation never stops in the games industry and there are a number of developments that are helping to drive this. These include:

  • Virtual reality gaming: This is a different concept in immersivity, offering sharp realism within a gaming environment. As graphics are developed further it may prove to be a major development for the gaming culture. It’s not there yet but you may soon find that prototype virtual reality displays mounted on the head are getting closer and closer to actually being realized.
  • Augmented reality: This has similarities to virtual realty but the idea is to add layers to the world you already live in, whereas virtual reality builds a totally new world to experience. As a basic example think of Google Glass, currently undergoing redesign, but the idea for gaming is to offer you a game that’s based in the real world. It’s another of those concepts that video game developers are trying to bring to fruition.
  • Motion capture: This concept is growing, the idea being to develop object recognition so that gamers could use objects in games, or you could use small movements for controlling certain game aspects rather than having to use a controller. It has a way to go but is yet another example of how the games sector is influencing tech development.

If you could predict what would happen in game development over the next 10 years you could probably become very rich. It may seem very sci-fi but these advances will make a real difference to how the gaming industry goes forward.


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