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Some Kind of Monster
The video game industry is volatile machine, like an overheating fusion reactor. But you probably know that. If you’re the type of gamer to follow the industry news then it has been made obvious, and made obvious lately (38 Studios). Regardless of your reasons for reading this particular article, I am positive that you would be hard pressed to find somebody who hasn’t played some form of video game; whether be it Golden Tee, or Peggle on their boyfriend’s Xbox. The gaming industry has had its nitrous button pressed since its birth and is the fastest growing industry in the world (except for maybe Porn). It is hard to believe it all started out with Pong just over 30 years ago. In that short amount of time (yes 30 years is short for human industry) hundreds of developers have emerged and thousands of titles have been released.
With such rapid growth only one real question remains: What is next? I feel like the VGAs are well on their way to becoming as big as the MTV Movie Awards (minus atrocities such as Twilight winning an award), the court case between Activision and Infinity Ward’s Vince Zampella and Jason West is getting LA Times coverage, and retired MLB players are creating game studios (Curt Schilling and 38 Studios). Yes 38 Studios failed miserably but it was a step in a direction that had never even been contemplated before!
With these advances in gaming where else will we go? Korea has several TV stations dedicated to StarCraft. They like it THAT much! G4tv is all we have and it could be argued that they are only a part time game channel. Will we see a station dedicated to everything games? News, tournaments, trailers, gameplay hints, all day, every day. An ESPN of gaming. Will ABC and NBC start hosting game tournaments and award shows? Will Gamestops grow the size of Walgreens or the Virgin Megastores? Or will gaming become so big that matches draw attention like the Super Bowl. Gamer anybody? Or The Wizard if you’re old enough to remember it.
Orson Scott Card wrote a book in which video games had become the way nations fought wars. Are we so far from that now? Unmanned drones are dropping bombs and robot buggies can deal more punishment than an Apache or a team of Seals, when mass punishment is the goal.
Regardless of the specific direction that gaming goes, I believe that we have only seen the beginning of what the video game industry will do in society. Maybe someday classes will be taught via Xbox. Maybe someday controllers will be done away with entirely as virtual reality makes a controlling comeback. The possibilities are absolutely endless and all we can do is sit back, controller in hand, and wait for the evolution of our hobby. It will come, and all good things come to those who wait. Please let it be good!