Looking back over the past decade or two, it’s clear that video gaming has changed a lot. Compare the Super Nintendo and the PS1 to what’s available now, and it becomes apparent just how quickly video gaming technology advances.
It’s fun to think about where we might be in another 10 years. Technology changes at an exponential pace, so we’ll probably cover as much ground in the next 10 years as we did in the previous 20.
What will video gaming be like in 2030? Let’s speculate and imagine what the future might look like.
Micropayments Within Games
Unless you’ve been living on the moon for the past few years, you’ve probably heard about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. While there’s a wild speculative market unfolding, what’s more interesting is the actual use-cases these cryptos facilitate.
For example, some cryptocurrencies allow you to move cash for 1/100th of a cent. This opens up a world of micropayments that was never possible before. Imagine in-game micropayments for completing tasks and bigger prizes like valuable NFTs for defeating bosses or unlocking new levels.
Changing the Gaming Business Model
Micropayments could also change the entire business model of video gaming. While these days you either have to subscribe or deal with ad-based models, you could pay-to-play when streaming money becomes as easy as streaming data.
This does potentially introduce an element of gambling to video games, so there will have to be proper regulations set up around this. We don’t want our kids' playing the equivalent of gambling games like those found on gamblerspro.com since those are highly addictive and there are laws about underage gambling. It’s a tricky one to balance. If you’re paying and being paid things of value to play, is it gambling? Regulators will have to answer these questions.
Virtual Reality Worlds
VR never really took off the way we thought it would in the past decade. When Zuckerberg purchased Oculus, commentators were sure that the virtual reality age was here. But, it sort of flopped, and there are various reasons for that, including the motion sickness many people feel after entering VR worlds.
A lot of those early problems have been smoothed out by advancements in graphics and VR hardware. It appears that virtual reality could be gearing up for its time in the sun in the next 10 years. Playing VR games today as opposed to even 5 years ago is like night and day, and with the exponential curve intact, we can expect this to come on leaps and bounds in the years to come.
VR will obviously affect online gaming. Would you like to enter the games you’re playing and feel like you’re inside them? This is already a reality for some games, and it’s likely to become the way it is for most games in 2030 and beyond.
Super Intelligent Game Characters
We all remember the characters in our first video games. They would say a few lines on repeat as their pixelated bodies moved on-screen. They were only capable of the most rudimentary things even in fighting games like Street Fighter.
As AI advances, expect characters to become infinitely more complex. In fact, they may address each player on a personal level, showing different characters traits depending on your player profile.
AI will also lead to other changes within gaming. How are we supposed to tell if an eSports team is being assisted by an AI that has mastered the game? How can we tell if we’re even playing against other humans? These are all interesting questions we’ll have to tackle in the next 10-20 years.