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Clash Of The Titans: Media V/S Gaming

Gaming has come to the forefront as a strong contender to media entertainment.The ongoing pandemic can be considered pivotal in the victory of gaming as non-gamersgot accustomed to gaming. Whilst OTT was the winning factor for the entertainment industry as multiplexes remained abandoned, gaming enchanted bountiful individuals. Binge watching led individuals to explore new avenues of entertainment, EUREKA! Gaming no longer remains sacred to the professional gamers, as non-gamers too have joined the bandwagon.

Statics reveal the same, around 55% of US consumers resorted to gaming during the lockdown period (Nielson report 2020). In fact,Gen Ys and Gen Zshave chosen or aspire to become full time professional gamers that would earn them millions of dollars a year. This year the global gaming market is projected to generate $176 billion dollars of revenue bourgeoning to $200 billion in 2023 (Newzoo).Moreover, gaming has outshined the Hollywood film industry and sporting industry (Market Watch).The only difference in games and movies is that gaming provides players both a mentally and physically immersive experience assisted by VR and AR.

So, is the media entertainment and sport industry jeopardized by the onset of the gaming glamour? Will gaming finally surpass media’s hegemonic role in history? Or will people prefer a mélange of gaming, sports and movie experience?

Well Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, expressed his views on who he considers potential competitors to Netflix.To one’s surprise it is not it’s OTT counterparts but the gaming industry, as witnessed by the success of games such as Fortnite or Pokemon Go. Hence be it Apple, Google or Amazon all have entered the gaming industry with their respective offerings: Apple Arcade, Stadia and Twitch. Meanwhile Netflix is creating its gaming blueprint!Fans wait curiously, assuming what their all-time favorite OTT platform will bring to the table with regards to gaming!

There are several factors that have amplified the adoption of gaming such as:

  • Demand for immersive and interactive experiences presented by VR and AR
  • Cloud Gaming (streaming video games on cloud)
  • Demand for diverse content other than the regular films
  • Roll out of 5G and IoT
  • Potential new markets in terms of demographics
  • Future developments and innovation in the world of gaming

New business models and developments are on the horizon for the gaming industry such as subscription models and cloud gaming. According to industry experts, cloud gaming is a milestone development for the gaming industry in the coming decades. Players can bid adieu to the barbaric, unnecessaryand bulky hardware consoles. Cloud gaming allows them to stream video games from anywhere, at any time (internet connection required) avoiding the hassles of downloading and storage space. The roll out of 5G with it’sultrasonic speed(super low latency) will eschew the much-dreaded game lag. SaaS, PaaS to Gaming as a Service (GaaS), On Demand Entertainment to Games OnDemand are the cool new jargonsfloating in the gaming community.

Mixed reality is the demand of the hour. Individuals crave an immersive and interactive experience that is a mélange of physical reality and digital/ virtual reality. A drawback for VRbased games or experiences as it offers a 100% virtual experience. Thus AR focused experiences arefavored more than VR. Recall the days of Pokemon Go, how the creators and designers cleverly maneuvered with elements such as real time physical and digital immersive experience (not requiring heavy console! A sigh of relief for gamers!). VR cannot be neglected of its bombastic and mindboggling experienceofferings. Though a couple of problems exist such as cost and weight of the headset consoles.

Recall the time you last had your VR experience!!! It wasnerve racking, breathtaking and dead real…but the headsets were really annoying!!!!

Thus, permeating the notion that a VR experience is usually a short lived and restrained to gaming arcades or theme parts (as people don’t prefer to purchase expensive headsets). Albeit new wearables are being sculpted to replace the expensive and heavy VR headsets such as smart contact lenses, smart gloves and wrist devices to encapsulate physical reality and introduce the possibility of tactile experiences.

Another term gaining limelight is hyper reality that teams up VR and AR to provide real time gaming experience that is not only restricted to what one can sees in their VR headsets but interact with the external environment and involves senses such as touch. A gaming company that is working on this type of experience is the Void. The possibilities are endless and unfathomable! It is foreseen by experts that gaming, movies, OTT or esports will work in tandem to bring alive unimaginable incredible experiences that will tantalize all human senses at the same time!

AI has always remained the backbone of gaming programming. Non-player characters (NPCs) (fictional characters who play with us) are instructed torespond to a player’s trick in multiple ways andperform few complex decision-making tasksaccording to the coding written for them. Albeit, it is deliberated by experts whether they should have fully AI driven NPC i.e. let the NPC decide how they want to react and make their presence felt. Some experts argue thatintegrating this feature will make the gaming experience less engaging and unpredictable. Moreover the process itself can be expensive and risky and therefore overlooked at the moment. AL, ML and natural language are being amalgamated in game designing as technology is evolving with time. NPCs developing the competence to interact with us and befriend usdoes not seem a distant future. Seems intriguing, think Alexa!

AI and data analyticsensureefficient tracking and monitoring of players performancein order to provide thembetter and modified gaming experiences. They can track parameters such as:

At what time are players active?

For how long are they active?

What is the bounce rate?

How many days of the week they play a particular game?

How many levels do they manage to play within a particular time duration?

…..And so forth…..

New game assets (such as tress, rocks (external environmentdesigning of the game)) and game levels can be created by harnessing AI/ ML. Procedural content generation can be substituted by technology. A relief for creators and designers, as they get acquainted with a range of design possibilities. An extension to this process is called experience driven procedural content generation. Whereingames can be conceptualized and designed based on data such as how players choose (strategic moves, habits, choices) to play a particular game. Subsequently AI can thenshoot out options to consider while designing a new game or new levels for a game.

In foresight technology will attain supremacy to conduct each and every human task in the coming decades. Will designers too become redundant and worthless in the future? Perhaps not, AI has not evolved to an extent where it can design full-fledged games, it can act as a support or companion to guide and improve the gaming experience and decision-making processes. Not to forget human creativity cannot go in vain.Experts stress that new blood in the industry will bring a new flavor to gaming with their eccentric and quirky ideas.

Considering from another spectrum, can’t quantum computing initiate the process of game designing and generation?A thought to consider. According to expert’s quantum’s supreme power to process data exponentially will modifythe process of procedural generation (new characters and levels)evadingthe presentpattern-basedoutcomes. Thus opening up an enormous horizon for infinite unpredictable design opportunities. Designers can decipher the success or failure of games from start to end using quantum computing to maintain practicality. As suggestions produced from quantum computing can be a tad bit ambitious! It will bring an all new ray of sunshine for graphics and game optimization (more realistic and intelligent NPCs). But quantum computingchallenges and hurdles (the fragile nature of qubits and so on) exist. Hey! Quantum gaming is a new jargon again!!!

Experts brainstorm the future of gaming!It is no longer restricted to the youth demographic, it is captivating individuals from various demographics and geographies thus creating potential new markets to cater. Diversity of content is always craved for;thereforewe witness a movement from movies and sport to gaming where individuals are wholly engrossed in the drama. New genres and themes are likely to be explored as new talent joins the workforce and technological developments manifest.Blockchain may find a place for itself in the gaming industry to maintain privacy, fairness and ethics.In fact in game live virtual concerts were organized on gaming platforms such as Fortnite starring famous pop stars and celebrities. This has furnished new prospects for marketers and advertisers to market their products and services via different gaming platforms and video games.

Though gaming is under bad light for its practice of extracting money from players and providing gambling services. It is the duty of the governments to create stringent laws punishing companies who get involved in such malpractice and create guidelines that are acceptable and good for everyone. Competition will heat up in the (low entry barriers- technology is ubiquitous) gaming industry. Gaming companies and gaming infrastructure companies seek funds from blue eyed VCs and investors, who watch the industry flourish in the coming decades as demand amplifies for real time immersive/ interactive physical and virtual experiences.There is no doubt that all investors and VC’s will invest in the nurturing gaming industry as revenues and profits will lie there. But it is crucial to take wise and prudent decisions to support ethical firms with ethical products.

After all, new entertainment will be a mixture gaming, movies and sports providing real time mixed reality experiences (AR+ VR) where character and players can interact with each other.


Won’t such immersive and interactive experiences lead to living in the alter reality and paranoia amongst individuals?

Will these developments in technology and entertainment increase cases of anxiety, depression, broken relationshipsandloneliness amongst individuals?

How will individuals differentiate between reality and fiction?

What about privacy?

How will individuals manage the game-life balance? (and work also)

Will tech invasion swallow up mankind (this sounds too pessimistic like a scene from a sci-fi movie -but a thought that needs to be deliberated on by all stakeholders).

How the future will roll out is in the stakeholder’s hands. They need to collaboratively decide and place limits to maintain harmony. The future of gaming is bright, an unimaginable fantasy.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article are views of the author in general and the author does not hold any legal responsibility or liability for the same.)


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