Posted by: prataap | December 29, 2010


TREND 2:           GAMES NO MORE

                                THE BLURRING OF “PLAY”

                                                SHOW ME THE REAL THING


Emerging Trends:

Who would have thought that the world of video games and teenagers would merge to form a major new industry?  Nintendo, Sony Playstation2 and Microsoft X-box have created the platforms for a $200 billion industry that did not exist 25 years ago.  On Nov 9, 2010, a single game, Call of Duty: Black Ops, topped $360 million on its first day of sales. 

Even the Supreme Court is in the middle of this. It is currently struggling to reconcile the First Amendment right of free speech against the California ban of sales of violent games to minors.  Why? Grand Auto Theft VI to name just one. Games are out-doing each other with visuals too graphic to resist and most of them depict sex or extreme violence. And sometimes both.  Intel is producing chips specifically to run graphic simulation so real that it was once the exclusive domain of US Air force F-16 pilots and NASA astronaut flight simulators. Reality so real that it‘s more fun than a to-do list or homework. Okay that has never been a hard sell, TV has been doing it for years, but now, even the latest generation of web–based TVs pale by comparison. Sony and Microsoft are in a deadly battle for market supremacy.

Fantasy Football gets real. The worlds of video games and live broadcasts are merging.  The blurring of reality and play will be amazing as multiple camera angles, and stop and reverse play become available on live TV sporting events. Viewers will soon be able to go back during time-outs and check out any play from different angles instead of looking at the Camry ad.  They’ll even be able to see both on a split screen while continuing to watch live action. “Call your own play” and see how the action might have been different based on simulations that use profiles of the players on the field. Couch coaches can call plays simultaneously with live action.

At Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, monitors on swivel arms are mounted on the box seats. Using ChoiceSeat, an interactive software, it displays instant replay from multiple camera angles showing type and speed of pitch and players’ stats. If the real ball game is boring, fans can shop at the franchise store or play pong without leaving their seat, ka ching $$$.


Now, where do kids fit in you ask? Do you really think adults have the imagination to create games other than Ferrari Challenge and Baseball 2002?  Boring!!  The 10-14 year olds will be creating the most novel graphic experiences and the most engaging story lines for the next set of interactive games, and they’ll put them directly on line for download from their web sites…for free! Shawn Fanning and Justin Frankel fundamentally altered music and file sharing before they were 20. Brian Cohen, another 20 something, is developing stunningly efficient content distribution technologies to allow streaming of large data files like the more graphic intense and complex video games. Soon they’ll be ubiquitous, playable on any digital device, anywhere.

In 1999 video game sales topped $6.1 billion while movie theater tickets tallied $7.5 billion. Today video games have become a $200 billion industry while movies have move up to $100 billion. It’s clear where this is going…convergence in 3D.

Question to ponder: in this nexus of 3D technology, cutting edge virtual reality, interactive media meets old fashioned story telling meets gaming and entertainment, what will the next generation look like?

Next Opportunities:

Teens are in great demand to create and beta test the games, but some of these games have already created “world championships” with prize money!!! Wait till Jim McMann or MTV or Zyanga get their hands on it and put some buzz to it.  Will Extreme Computer Games World Championship for Doom or Spy vs. Spy or Mafia Warfare be the next mega hit? Kinect is just the tip of the interactive games iceberg. Tron may seem quaint today, but not if players can “enter” the game.  Soon, players will feel the bullets and smell the burning tires, feel what the competition is feeling and simultaneously take on multiple champions from a “home appliance” or perhaps from an eyeglass PDA while sitting at the skyport waiting for a Boeing space shuttle to fly to Japan via the stratosphere.  

Another major opportunity awaits: using the highly seductive technology created for computer games as teaching tools, combining technology, entertainment, and creative learning. Not simply in the transfer of high quality graphics to create realistic tours of ancient Egypt or conversations with digital Einstein, but melding technology with gaming to truly merge learning with fun.   

Marc Prensky of Corporate Gameware said, “What if we provide ourselves with the tools (that are) as fun to use as the toys we provide our children? Computer games are high in engagement and low in content. Business, by contrast has lots of content but little engagement. Put the two together, and you just might have something” altogether new as a way of conducting business. Too radical? Maybe so. But already being beta tested and proving to be a successful new business model.

See if you have the imagination to pick apart the opportunities in this unfolding wild scenario that upon second glance, is not so crazy.

Let your imagination run wild.

Create the future and smell the roses, it’s your move!



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: