Gaming and technology have a close relationship. The quantity, quality, and scale of games have been increased thanks to advancements in technology but gaming has also helped to develop and improve technologies for application elsewhere.
The creation of video games themselves was a big step forward at the hands of technology but they have evolved exponentially in the last half a century. Even as the medium has evolved and matured, the rate of technical progress has not slowed down.
Some of the most popular and well-known games are only possible because of technological advancements. For example, VR gaming is becoming more and more popular, but it would not be possible without current virtual reality technology. Similarly, many mobile games make use of touch screens and GPS capabilities that simply were not available a few years ago.
Technology has also allowed for a much more immersive and realistic gaming experience. Things like 3D graphics and surround sound help to create a more believable world for the player to inhabit. And as technology continues to develop, so too will the ways in which we are able to interact with and experience video games.
Thanks to this we’ve seen some major steps forward in the last two decades; here are the biggest ones.
There’s no denying that the internet has been the biggest single factor in changing just about every aspect of our lives over the last two decades. In fact, in some parts of the world, it’s becoming just as important to have a fast connection as it is to have running water and electricity.
The internet has helped bring the world closer together, improve our access to information, and help us keep in touch with loved ones more easily.
Gaming is no exception to this. In fact, just about every element of gaming has been changed by the information superhighway, including how we buy games, how we play them, who we play them with, and how long we play them for.
The internet has also helped to breathe new life into older titles. Over the last two decades, we’ve seen online casinos really explode in popularity as the internet has made it easier for players to enjoy these traditional games. The best example of this is slots, a category that has enjoyed a new lease of life thanks to the internet.
Today, many online casinos offer hundreds or even thousands of video slots, each with a unique theme and with extra features like bonuses, mini-games, and jackpots. Another feature that has become popular in slots is free spins, which allow players to play real money games for free. These spins can be unlocked in several ways; one of the most common is through a sign up or other bonus, though they are also often acquired through completing challenges or landing on certain symbols in a slot game.
We’ve seen a similar effect with other traditional games, such as Monopoly, Scrabble, and chess, all of which can now be played online. In the case of chess, online platforms let players compete against each other or train by trying to beat a bot.
Smartphones were not the first devices that let people enjoy games on the go, but they are responsible for the biggest change in the format. Before the iPhone was released in 2007, people that wanted to play games outside of their home would either need to buy a portable console like the Nintendo DS or use a feature phone.
Portable consoles offered high-quality titles but they were bulkier than a smartphone and it was not always socially acceptable to play them in certain settings. Feature phones, on the other hand, had small screens and a number of keypads. The games they could play were primitive and wouldn’t satisfy most seasoned players.
Smartphones completely changed this and have put an end to the portable console format altogether. Today, almost everyone has played at least one game on their phone, helping to get more of us interested in the medium.
Virtual reality gaming is something that many companies have experimented with over the years, most notably Nintendo which created its failed Virtual Boy console in the 1990s. However, it’s only recently that VR has come into its own.
Today, the Oculus Quest 2 is the best-selling VR headset on the market and it offers gamers a fully immersive, 360-degree playing experience with head tracking and full wireless play.
VR technology has led to the creation of new categories of games as developers experiment with ways to get the most out of its unique functionality. It’s resulted in popular titles like Beat Saber, Job Simulator, and Pistol Whip, all of which include elements that can’t be found on any other platform.
This is only the beginning for VR too; we’re likely to see major advancements in this area in the coming years as the technology matures.