Video games have shifted across genre, industry, market and platform with impressive ease and reach. This shift has taken place from the standard PC game to the console, from the handheld to the mobile device, and from the eSports viewer to the player and the designer.
Many people may be unfamiliar with the term eSports. Not to be confused with eGaming (online gambling and betting), eSports is a burgeoning industry where computer games are played competitively for money. eSports involves serious money as well – the industry is presently valued at $450 million, which is impressive considering it’s effectively nothing more than tribes of young (mostly) men wrestling games controllers and assaulting PC keyboards.
The gaming industry is an ever evolving beast which has risen from the empty, pixelated landscapes of the 1990s to become vast and vivid worlds which can be captured on screens, smartphones and digital devices.
Creating a successful computer game is the raison d’être of any games programmer or publishing house.
It was in the 2000s when consoles began to rise up to gaming dominance, with many touting that the day of the PC was over. It was this awkward correlation between game and capability which many attribute to the gradual demise of the PC.
Last week was a momentous one in the slow evolution of virtual reality. The very first Oculus Rift headset was hand-delivered to a customer by the company’s founder, Palmer Luckey. The equally lucky recipient of this futuristic device will now be able to boldly go where no man has gone before – or at least outside the Oculus headquarters and CES shows, anyway.
Gaming in the Virtual World
The idea that you can immerse yourself in a virtual world and play games as if you are completely part of the action has been around for a long, long time. Virtual Reality (VR) has, however, proved to be an elusive dream as technology failed to match the ideas (remember the Nintendo Virtual Boy in 1995?). Then along came a start-up called Oculus Rift, a company which captured the attention of pretty much everyone, including Facebook who bought it out for a hefty $2 billion in March 2014. Then the competitors began to sneak onto the scene – HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, Gooble Cardboard, and Samsung Gear VR. VR was back, and this time the technology is ready to really make that immersive, spine-chilling, toe-tingling dream into a reality.