One of the really neat things about having grown up playing games is getting to see the advances the industry has made, and in turn the leaps and bounds by which games have advanced themselves. Watching games evolve from chip-sound and monochromatic graphics to the audiovisual extravaganzas we have today has been a wild ride, to say the least. More than that, though, the ways in which we play games have evolved significantly.
We are long past the days where games were mostly played by teenage boys, and we’ve left the days where games meant a specific, dedicated machine used for no other purpose far behind. Arcades have risen and fallen in most places in the world, replaced by the home consoles and ubiquitous PCs. Solo or small-group multiplayer has given way to online play, and couch-gaming is rapidly less and less of the overall games breakdown as mobile and social games take the fore.
In and among all of this, the games themselves have been rapidly evolving. You can trace the lineage of many games back to their roots, and with any luck, following those paths might hint at where games will go.
We’re on the cusp of a variety of new technologies– Google Glass is poised to either overhaul our relationship with our personal devices or fall flat, while advances in streaming technology get us closer and closer to gaming on the cloud, without specialized equipment or physical software. In the meantime, tools advancements and rapidly developing middleware on the industry side are making it easier and faster to make games, while perpetually driving up the quality bar, and indies are filling in the gaps left by the massive rise in production values.
Whether any of this is sustainable is up for (heavy) debate, but one way or another the future of games should be exciting.