Sunday, May 1, 2016

The future of video games – part 3

This is the last part of the series of posts about the future of video games. You can visit the earlier posts: part one and part two.


AI. Is this the best you can do?

Artificial intelligence is perhaps the most interesting and the most controversial topic. In my opinion, out of all the aforementioned technologies, this will be the one that is implemented the latest. As is the case with other elements of games, the obvious goal here is also to develop more life-like technologies where non-player characters react realistically. I'm almost a 100% sure that the technology used will have been heralded as the next milestone in humanity's evolution. Futurologists believe that 2050 will be the certain date when artificial intelligence with humanlike senses will appear; this will be supplemented by human emotions, as well, so the technology will not only be restricted to the area of thinking. Computers that are currently the strongest do not have enough power and capacity to model an entire human brain with all its functions, but this will probably have become a reality by this date. The entertainment industry will want to integrate this into the virtual world's living characters somehow. The big question is, will it be ethical to shoot a non-player character who can think properly and has senses? We could say that it – or he/she? – is just virtual and artificially manufactured, but the answer is not so simple.


MMORPG, as long as the eye can see

Let us finally mention the future of MMORPG, which I think will be quite amazing. I assume this genre won't bear its current name, and it will even be an exaggeration to say that it is a genre. Instead, we will talk about it as a special way of life. People will have fun in one or more virtual worlds , which are different from the real world, and if they overdo it, they will live in those worlds. Artificially generated worlds could serve as a kind of shelter for those who do not want to or find it very hard to live in the world as we know it today. This could provide an excellent opportunity for very frustrated, depressed or physically disabled people. In the future, everyone will be able to choose an avatar according to their preferences, with skills and qualities they desire. The world itself could either be fantasy or science fiction, whatever users want: we will be able to choose from just as wide a selection of genres, as is the case with various movie or game titles nowadays. We might confuse player characters with non-player characters due to advanced artificial intelligence techologies. All forms of human relationships and contacts could be transferred (yes, even that, too), since interaction, similarly to reality, will be complex, and reactions will be so life-like that we will forget that we are only dawdling in virtual worlds.

Of course, the implementation of the technology raises many questions, and it would take a long time to discuss its pros and cons. However, the game universe certainly will change a lot through the decades, so much so that we won't be able to recognize it.

This is the end of the series about the topic of video games, but it is a food for thought.

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