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Is the End in Sight?

We take a look at the future of video gaming

By Troy Roberts     July 21, 2002


Counter-Strike: Condition Zero
© Sierra Enterainment

Is the end in sight for video games? Lately, it's a question I've been asking myself as video games are becoming more and more realistic, yet less original. What happens when we get to a point in technology where we really can't go any further?


When I look at most of the video games out right now, originality isn't usually my first concern. I mean, what hasn't been explored? We've gone into space, raised settlements on other planets, we've raced cars, we play professional sports, we steal cars, we even shoot bad guys as a hardened commando. We have basically accomplished everything possible for a person to do in his or her "real" life, and even beyond that.


What will happen when the day comes where there isn't anything new to explore, or any new ideas that are innovative enough to keep gamers interested? What will game companies do to make money? In all likelihood, they'll begin to produce sequels upon sequels to their hot titles. And how long will it be until gamers become bored with innumerable clones of games? This isn't an overnight thing, but it is something that could happen in the near future.


We all know virtual reality is the closest thing to real life. And while "realistic" virtual reality is still years off, it is coming. What happens once we get there? There's nothing more realistic than being inside the game, so where do we go from there? Now, don't get me wrong. Graphics aren't everything (in fact, they're very minor compared to gameplay), but when you combine the thought of virtual reality with lack of originality, we find trouble.


As I said, virtual reality is pretty far off, but if you look at the leaps in technology we've made since the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in the 80's, and see where we are now, it's kind of scary to think where we could be at in 10 or 15 years.


So does virtual reality and lack of originality mean the end for video gaming? I don't know, and it's doubtful that anyone does. But if you've got an opinion on where video gaming is heading, let me know by dropping me an e-mail. I want to know what other gamers think of this.


TIDBITS


Sony Computer Entertainment has announced they have cancelled the production of the PocketStation for the Playstation One...Microsoft has announced that they have shipped over 3.9 million Xbox units...Sierra has pushed back the release date for COUNTER-STRIKE: CONDITION ZERO until next year...Novalogic has announced that they plan to have an open multiplayer beta version of DELTA FORCE: BLACK HAWK DOWN available by next month.



ON SHELVES


This week, Electronic Art's NCAA FOOTBALL 2003 comes out for the Playstation 2 and Xbox...CRAZY TAXI 3, from Sega, comes out for the Xbox....Also, C-12 FINAL RESISTANCE comes out is released for the Playstation One.



Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Videogame column.

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