As recent popular representation of Halo 3 would attest, video games are now indeed becoming a stem of mainstream covered by the media and academia alike. Had we not had our LAN Party at my workplace, accompanied by scholarly discussion on the subject, I might not have believed that the mixture of electronics and literature had attained this stage. Gone are the days when games such as Defender were sold on the very same shelf as Mr. Potato head, and instead we are permitted to discuss available and forthcoming outings in an actually intelligent manner.
That discourse may not be expected from a site such as Cracked.com, but it certainly caught my eye recently. While the article itself is one that’s mostly irreverent and satirical, it’s also happenstancely thought provoking. In example, twenty five years ago, would we have possibly believed that we would be simultaneously communicating and playing games together despite the fact that we are thousands of miles apart? While grasping the joystick of the Atari 2600, that was indeed a feat which would be deemed ludicrous. Similarly, can we really claim that we can understand what the next evolution is by 2032? Cracked attempts this, covering the question in a wonderfully funny and conceivably accurate rhetoric.
In summary, the writers find it not out of the question that long joked about ideas such as games and information being funneled directly into one’s brain is not only entirely possible, but likely. Which would initially sound pretty damn cool, but is hampered by the mere fact that people like to sell stuff. For example, advertisers would be able to sample information which tells what objects you are looking at and for how long you are looking at them. Even more frightening is the idea that these very advertisers could overlay advertisements upon these objects that are capturing your gaze. The possibilities are not promising. Certain tech evangelists such as David Shenk have shouted warnings from street corners for years, speaking prophecies of our impending doom once SkyNet becomes self aware.
But then again, aren’t these technologies existent only as entertainment? Or are they slowly progressing into more, seeping first into areas of education or exercize? Only time will tell, by way of voting via the wallet of the consumer. But if early indications are to be believed, these types of “games that aren’t games” are only the beginning and are paving the way for video games as we know it to cease to be strictly entertainment, thrusting them into a mainstream acceptance which would level them with already accepted forms such as, you know, books. If so, the future of cyber punk as described by the article may indeed be true.