On Game Industry Renaissance
I always look back with nostalgia at the days when I chased a dozen pixels across my VGA display and really was a ninja. And it’s not just the age talking. At that time the player was much more immersed in the gameplay, actively using his imagination. I think here comes again the time when the imagination will be the main factor determining game involvement. This time the mobile devices will bring the Renaissance into the game industry. Firstly, let’s turn to mental processes. Game involvement can be increased in two diametrically opposite ways. The first one – is the increasement of the realism of elements perceived by the player. The closer the displayed objects, people, and situations are to their real life prototypes, the more real current event will be for the player. Human mind, for example, sees a realistic auto on the screen and responds to it exactly as if it is the car that exists in reality. Cinematographical quality, augmented reality, Oculus Rift – all of them act in line with this method of increasing involvement. For it the amount of perceived information is of the most importance. Large monitors, the viewing devices with high resolution and larger perspective are suited for this most excellently. The second one – is the development of the informational deficit, including visual one. So the mind will be forced to compensate for the shortage of information with the help of imagination. Since the filled in details are individual and taken from personal experience, the realism of the process and, therefore, the involvement increases. Here’s an example. If during the development of the action we say that there’s the princess behind the wall, I’ll draw myself exactly the belle I fancy. This definitely will make the gameplay more fun for me. This phenomenon illustrates the reading of books even better. At some point I start to live in the story, as if I am watching a movie. And the image I am creating is exclusively individual. Most of my friends who read a lot, described the process of reading in the same way. These two ways are always intertwined in the games. We see realistic weapons and are told that we are fighting evil enemies. This “evilness” in many respects, is filled in by the imagination. However, due to the greater ease of achieving the sufficient level of involvement with the help of building up the realism, this method now holds a dominant position in the gaming industry. After all, you only have to have more powerful hardware in this case. I think that the mobile devices themselves can reduce the share of realism in games and to increase the share of the imagination. And said opportunity will arise for the most banal reason – the area of gadgets’ perceived image is lower than that of desktop monitors (Google Glass is rather the same in this context). Not being able to replace gamer’s reality with imagined one, mobile devices are deprived of the opportunity to exploit the first method. In mobile games in order to achieve the ‘desctop’ level of involvement, you need an active use of the imagination. Of course, it is not easy. In order to turn his imagination on the user must capture a good idea of the game, imagine its elements, unfolding scenarios. The game must be brilliant, or at least cleverly done. However, if the 90% of the games which are present on the market – i.e. all second-rate ones – disappear, I will not feel sorry at all. I am a bit romantic :). We’ll see.