Several key things help me consider were I think the future of gaming will take us. These key elements are social networking, full immersion, personal design and fantasy. Each one of these elements currently and in the future will guide gaming into the next big phase of game play.
When considering social networking, we immediately think of facebook and twitter. However, in this situation I actually mean the collaboration and relationships built by being closely tied within a network of similar people and situations. While Minecraft revolutionized gaming for kids, it had this element of social networking that allowed players to play independently, but work in teams and communities to help create the gaming environment and play that the players felt tied to not only physically, with their player, but emotionally through the relationships that are built. This type of social networking allowed kids to understand, probably better than adults, the importance of relying on others to help reach the desired results in the virtual world.
Another element of gaming that I believe will help guide the future of gaming is the incorporation of full immersion experiences. If one considers the phrase full-immersion, they likely immediately consider VR as the idea behind it. When I think of VR, I don’t just think about putting on headsets, but as seen at several conventions, I think of the suits that detect movement and body analysis to add to the virtual world. The hardest thing to lock down is how do we physically walk in a virtual world without hitting something in the real world. I know someone will come up wit a solution, but it likely will be one of the hardest hurdles to overcome.
In my opinion, there are several companies pushing the forefront of gaming experiences, but its the social gaming that has really taken hold more than the game companies themselves. So many gamers immerse themselves so deep into gaming that watching tv no longer includes sitcoms or dramas, it now embraces live battles occurring in the virtual world amongst gamers all over the world and the discussions that are going on in chatrooms right along with it. I honestly cant predict where gaming is going but I am excited to watch it unfold!