Gaming has not always been the highlight of technology, but it has evolved over the years to become one of the most significant industries in the tech world. The first recognized example of a gaming machine was unveiled by nuclear physicist Dr. Edward Uhler Condon at the New York's world fair in 1940. The game was called Nimatron, and it was based on the ancient mathematical game of Nim, and it was played by 50,000 for a six-month display period. The game was won by the gaming machine more than 90% of the time and then there were no known commercial home games.
In 1952, British professor A.S Douglas created OXO or noughts and crosses as part of his doctoral dissertation at the University of Cambridge. Subsequently, in 1962 Steve Russell at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology invented Spacewar! as a computer-based space combat video game. Spacewar! was found mostly at universities and used on the Programmed Data Processor-1 (PDP-1). It was the first video game that could be played on multiple computer installations.
In the 1980s, there was a boom in the rise of arcade games, Japanese console games as well as casino-based games. 1982 saw the release of a Casino game from Datamost as a gaming package that included Blackjack, Baccarat, Video poker, Keno and Roulette. In the 1990s, gaming had a larger user base than before. Games like Sonic 06, Super Mario Sunshine, Yoshi's Cookie drew the attention of gamers. In 1993, Sega announced a game rating system and set up a parent hotline due to concerns from parents about the increasing violence in video games.
The 2000s brought about a shift in the gaming industry with different changes such as the 3D effect, social media gaming, the use of smartphones, voice chat services and used subscriptions. In 2020, the gaming industry generated $155 billion in revenue and the industry is expected to generate more than $260 billion by 2025. This shows that the gaming industry has transcended over time to being more significant in the technology industry and more corporations will be willing to invest in the gaming industry.
The global gaming industry is estimated to be worth more than $300 billion with 2.9 billion players worldwide. This is a wild jump from when gaming was introduced in the 1940s and 1950s: this is due to the many innovations that the gaming industry has provided for users.
1. Artificial intelligence: Artificial intelligence in gaming involves the use of responsive and adaptive gaming experiences. These artificial intelligence-powered interactive experiences are usually generated by non-player characters(NPCs) that act intelligently as if controlled by human players. Artificial intelligence has over the years, improved the gaming experience. The creation of unique experiences on mobile devices, consoles and wearable devices by developers with the use of artificial intelligence has made gaming more popular.
2. Virtual reality: Virtual reality gaming involves the use of a three dimensional artificial environment to create a real-world environment for the gamer. The use of equipment like Virtual reality(VR) headsets, wrap-around display screens and VR rooms equipped with wearable computers and sensory components have helped improve the gaming experience. There are different types of VR games available for games and they range from individual, multiplayer to online games. Virtual reality games often place players in combat environments, but some could involve simple tasks like moving objects.
3. Cloud computing: Cloud computing is one of the miracles of today's gaming: games can now run on remote servers, while being streamed to the gamer's device. The high demands of processing power then shift from the device to the cloud: that means that gamers do not need the most recent hardware to enjoy their gaming experience. It is predicted that cloud gaming revenue will exceed $1 billion for the first time since 2021 and that the global gaming market size will reach $7.24 billion by 2027. Cloud gaming will give gamers the opportunity to play the games they want, with the people they want, whenever they want, wherever they are and on any device that they want.
4. Blockchain based gaming: Blockchain gaming gives gamers the opportunity to earn while enjoying their gaming experience. Blockchain based gaming also gives players complete ownership over the digital assets they earn or gain through their participation in games. If players pay real money for their digital assets in traditional games, they lose access to these assets if the servers are turned down. The assets then go to the publisher or developer. In blockchain gaming, players have an advantage: they retain full ownership of their digital assets. This allows them to trade digital assets with other players, sell these digital assets for money and potentially use their assets across multiple game universes.
The gaming metaverse is one of the most discussed topics in the gaming industry: this is partly because the Metaverse itself is one of the trending topics in the technology industry. The Metaverse is a digital world that is created to connect users with a shared platform for socialization. The unique quality of the gaming metaverse is that gamers are not required to switch on or exit the gaming platform, the metaverse also exists after the players finish their session. The gamers can also interact with other gamers, trade in-game assets and experience a sense of the real world by using haptic gloves and jackets.
The Gaming Metaverse provides the opportunity for gamers to add to the virtual world, create their own content, build sub-games within a game and treat the gaming platform as a platform-like space for other activities. The metaverse is purely a social platform, so it encourages socialization by enabling players to invite friends from the real world and interact with other gamers in the gaming metaverse. The Play-to-Earn gaming feature is part of the gaming Metaverse and there are speculations that mixed reality gaming will be made easily available on the gaming Metaverse.
The Gaming Metaverse is designed to capture the attention of gamers all over the world while giving these users a unique gaming experience. It is to give the gamers an impression of another reality by making available a 3D world where gamers can interact more personally with the elements around them. The combination of gaming, augmented reality, play-to-earn, NFT minting and trading, life streaming and value exchange with cryptocurrency provides a gaming experience that no other gaming platform has provided yet.
In addition to the unique experience that the gaming metaverse provides, it reduces the toll that gaming has on the human body. Gamers do not have to sit for hours, tapping on consoles and staring at large screens. The game can even involve bodily movement, eliminating the backaches that come from the sedentary lifestyle that gamers often have. The gaming metaverse also provides a more traditional gaming experience where gamers can observe the gestures and body movements of their opponents, as opposed to regular online gaming.
Play-to-Earn Gaming offers users the opportunity to earn while playing: a good example of a play-to-earn gaming platform is . Megafans is an online gaming multiplayer platform that gives its users access to numerous online games like Tunnel Tournament, Candy Boo-Tournament Edition and Crash n Win.
Play-to-Earn games usually reward players with digital cash or non-fungible tokens. Over the years, these blockchain-backed games have become mainstream, constituting a core component of the gaming metaverse. Each gaming platform has its unique currency, enabling the payment of gamers for time spent playing games. Games such as The Sand Box, Star Atlas, Zed Run, Axie Infinity and Decentraland are popular play-to-earn games that gamers love and enjoy.
Although people made money from gaming in the past through practices such as gold farming and unofficial marketplaces for in-game items, the emergence of blockchain technology and the use of non-fungible tokens(NFTs) has changed the world of gaming. These NFTs help gamers to own the digital assets that they purchase and sell these digital assets outside the gaming platform. These NFTs can be sold for any currency on the NFT marketplace and they are usually valuable due to scarcity. The Play-to-Earn model provides an incentive for gamers to play and it also generates income for these gamers. In addition, it creates more awareness on cryptocurrency within the gaming community and encourages non-gamers to be interested in playing games. It also builds the growth of the NFT and DeFi sectors of the cryptocurrency industry.
The Play-to-Earn model has its disadvantages: it does not foster inclusion because experienced gamers tend to win all the contests. It creates room for bad players to take advantage of other players. There is also the risk of flooding the market with NFTs, reducing the value of NFTs and indirectly the growth of the NFT industry. The Play-to-Earn model could also defeat the fun purpose of gaming: players would play for hours for the sole purpose of making money. The Play-to-Earn games also have higher costs of entry which may run into thousands of dollars and result in losses for those who want to make a profit from playing games.
The gaming industry has grown over the years and the potential for expansion seems limitless: the 2021 Newzoo Global Games Market Report has predicted that in 2024, the gaming industry will hit $218.7 billion with a sustained growth of 8.7% per year. In addition, the report stated that the number of gamers globally had increased by 5.3% year on year, being about 3 billion players. A large percentage of these players (2.8 billion) were predicted to play on a mobile device as against 1.4 billion players on PC and 0.9 billion on console.
A Forbes 2020 interview with two UK prominent gaming professors revealed the future possibilities for gaming. Dr. Jethro Shell, Senior Lecturer in Games and Information Systems at De Montfort University and Dr. Edward Powley, Associate Professor at Falmouth University Games Academy shared their thoughts on the future of gaming. Dr. Powley praised "Main Assembly" for its problem-solving approach and stated that mainstream games could rival cinema in their storytelling approach. Dr. Shell says "The Witcher 3" and "Red Redemption 2" combine high-quality graphical content that allows the player to decide against achieving goals, while developing strong relationships with characters. Both professors see artificial intelligence taking a major part of game development. They see mixed reality taking the big cut, with future games combining the virtual and augmented reality features.
As an observer, I see blockchain gaming becoming bigger as a subset of gaming, with gamers taking more advantage of the Play-To-Earn games. I believe that in the near future, the gaming industry will be taken more seriously with the development of more careers in the gaming industry. There will also be some health and social implications for gamers who spend long hours gaming: however, the gaming industry will make many people rich in the future. This time, it will not be only game developers or designers, the gamers will largely benefit from gaming.