As the years roll by and gaming becomes more mainstream, it’s quite surprising to look at how much things have changed in the last 20 years.
When I was young, game tournaments were a rarity, usually being held in cramped little venues with a few dozen spectators, really only the most hardcore enthusiasts in attendance.
Nowadays, entire weekends are taken as thousands go in to watch professional gamers compete for million dollar prizes whilst hundreds of thousands more watch from the comfort of their homes.
Counter strike, league of legends, fortnite, overwatch and a host of other games have captured the mainstreams attention, creating a multitude of celebrities overnight through platforms like Twitch and Youtube, making rock stars out of what used to be the uncool geeks hiding in their parents house.
It really is fascinating to see this evolution, and the future of gaming will probably create an even greater disconnect from the past as technology advances towards full immersion gaming where people basically live within the online worlds companies create.
The popularity of anime such as sword art online goes to show the desire people have to be able to really live in these games, really experience what it is like to be a military sniper or a sword wielding faerie flying across a fantasy landscape.
I know many people who still consider games to be for children, and personally I try to create a certain distance between myself and games due to the health repercussions of spending all my free time playing, but the amazing stories and stimulating challenges offered by well done games are definitely worth it in many cases, and for those who feel these things are childish, I believe simply lack the perspective to understand that difficult games are just as or more complex than a game of chess, and I doubt you’ll find anyone saying chess is bad for you or a waste of time.
I am truly looking forward to the future of gaming, and I hope companies really draw back and focus on quality and storyline and not waste time with cash grabs, forsaking that which makes games truly great.
After all, a great game is as inspiring as a great book, and we all need a little inspiration from time to time.