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Video Games in the Future: A Gamer's Ple

With video game technology advancing so rapidly and moving so far from its origins, one cannot help but entertain the idea of where it will go from here. After all, this is part of a larger creative process, and we would like to think that our writings contribute, even in some small way. One of the earliest video games we can remember is Commodore's "Pong." However, we never thought that the industry would have reached the point where it is today. One thing is for sure, however, and that is gaming is pushing full force ahead.

Today, we indulged in a little bit of fantasizing to see where our imagination and desires would take us. The following offers some suggestions of what could be done, short of a little thing called "impossible."

We are intrigued by the "Sun Game Glasses" idea. By wearing a pair of dark sunglasses and using the technology implemented by Nintendo's "Wii" system, we could literally watch a game take place right before our eyes and then interact with it using a device that is about the size of a pen. Since this is not exactly a new idea, we are curious to see what develops from the University of South Australia's 'ARQuake' project - a springboard for this kind of gaming to develop shortly for sure.

Another cool idea we would like to see emerge within the gaming industry is the ability to talk to the characters inside a game. Some games already allow players to textually speak to game characters, but we would like to see this pushed a little further. We would like to be able to orally interact with characters: ask questions, joke around, warn, and speak to them as if we were speaking to another human being. And we would like to hear these characters talk back! It's the ultimate artificial intelligence opportunity, and although it would probably be years before this technology would be available on a wide scale, we are sure it would be a hit.

Will we ever get to the point where we can play inside a simulated environment the way the characters in Star Trek: The Next Generation could play? Virtual reality is getting close, but the reality of the simulation is gone the moment we put on silly-looking goggles and gloves. For a simulation of this sort to work, there has to be as little a barrier between gamers and the game as possible. We do not want to just think we are inside a game; we want to feel that we are inside a game and to be honest, we do not want to have to go somewhere outside our home to do so.

The television or computer screen will suffice for now, but in the future, we are going to want to be surrounded by the elements that make gaming the wonder that it is today. We are going to want to transform our dens or bedrooms into a virtual alien ship or simulated jungle. In short, we want a new world.

One possible obstacle to bringing this fantasy into our living rooms is public acceptance. Would the public be ready for such a high level of entertainment? And could the public handle it? Immediately following Nintendo's Wii release, customers were ready to complain that they wanted their old controller back! So, as with any new development, there will surely be unintended consequences, and although we are gung-ho about these types of advances, we also share concerns about the impact it would have on an audience that is not "virtually ready."

As a result, we can certainly envision a few laws being introduced that restrict the use of our fantasy gaming. We already have some laws that attempt the same now, and in our opinion, that is a good thing. The last thing we want to encounter in gaming is physical harm - especially when we are trying to enjoy virtual entertainment!

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