Fast Forward 2020

Fast Forward 2020
Return of the Future

Shawn Williams | 9 Aug 2005 12:08
Fast Forward 2020 - RSS 2.0

Yes, once games are truly lifelike, gamers will discover that the only thing worse than 8-bit graphics are 8 trillion-bit graphics, complete with nauseating liquids, disgusting squishy sounds, and truly offensive smells.

Gamers by the thousands will seek therapy as they learn that although Night Elves may have truly delightful gyrations when they dance, in Virtual Reality, they tend to smell like dirty socks. Thousands more will find themselves treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration; although humping a backpack of rockets across the desert to lay waste to an enemy fortification sounds like fun, instead it will turn out to be lot of unpleasant work. And will make them sweat, which will make them smell like dirty socks, a bug that will mysteriously transfer with them from game to game ...

In a growing fear of Too-Real-Reality (TRR), gamers will abandon their high-end gaming rigs. Entire Ringworlds will lay dormant, without a single cyborg to storm them. Enchanted dungeons will be ignored, their mindless inhabitants left to take up line dancing, the only hobby that requires less thought than eating heroes. Digital prostitutes will wander aimlessly, completely unassaulted, and will take up needlepoint.

Instead, gamers will find solace in a new generation of gaming: games that focus on complex physics and massive intellectual calculations. The most popular of these new games will force gamers to learn to abstract mathematics to predict operations within a dynamic system. Lightning-fast calculations of trajectory, inertia, and velocity will hone the nervous system of young gamers. Massive player organizations will form to hold contests of skill, where two cerebral warriors do battle with blinding calculations, dizzying predictive behavior, and staggering endurance.

In massive video arenas, the intellectual foes will face each other, each armed with their custom-built, faux-wood-grain encased paddles. They'll spin these ultra-sensitive dials, sending their digital avatars (rendered in the finest 2-color graphics - black AND white!) racing back and forth across the screen, intent upon changing the vector of the "ball." With practiced moves, they send their avatars crashing into the ball, cutting it sharply to increase its velocity and send it screaming at their opponent. At the last moment, there is a slip, and the ball sails into a goal, disappearing from the screen, only to return moments later in the center as the battle begins again.

It will be a gaming revolution.

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