Tell Us Dammit: The Future

Tell Us Dammit: The Future

“Game idea: Paperboy 2025. Print is dead. You are redundant. Deal with your emotions.” That was the best tweet I’ve read all day, and it got me wondering about old game concepts, stuff that just wouldn’t work nowadays. And what would a modern day Paperboy look like? What does the future look like for games? What are you hoping for?

It also sort of got me wondering about different visions of the future. I was watching Alien the other day — and in that version of the future everyone still has rusty old CRT monitors. Going back even further, the 70s version of the future is all weird bowl cuts and lightspeed, ala Star Wars.

It’s funny how the technology of today sort of defines how we imagine tomorrow will look, when really it has little impact whatsoever. I guess today’s future is all about touch technology and how it’ll be implemented into everything, but is that accurate?

Anyway the question is: the future. What do you expect from it? And where do you see video games ending up?

Thanks to Blow the Cartridge for the Comic!


  • Holographic 3D displays with VR devices. The controller will survive, but physical retail games will be gone thanks to cheap superfast interwebs. All games will being purchased through a system (or systems) simillar to Steam or iTunes, with the console developers resort to only making the hardware to access the unified system and play the games, kind of like how DVD players of any make can play any DVD. You choose which version you want to download according to what system you have (like choosing Mac or PC on steam) and the version will be adjusted accordingly.

  • Head-mounted displays and Augmented / Virtual Reality tech is going to come back in a big way. Apple and Google are already going there with their glasses stuff, and that Oculus Rift thing is making a splash too, but it’s only the precursor.

    This is the endgame.

  • I think it’s amusing that in both the 1970s and the 1990s, there was a considerable difference in technology portrayed by the 100-year gap between Star Trek the Original Series and TNG/DS9/Voyager, but our actual technological advancements in the 20 year gap between those series were actually much more impressive – and again in the 20 years since!

    For some reason helm controls on a star ship are made up of an oscilloscope and some toggle switches like some WW2-era submarine, but they’ve finally figured out touch screen technology a century later? We have touch-screen tablets now that are way more impressive than Padds.

    You have to think about the kind of post-apocalyptic future Star Trek really is when you consider that a short range communicator in the year 2273 has less functionality than an iPhone.

    In short, anything I say that is a remotely plausible projection for what life will be like in, say, the year 2050, will be laughable dated by 2020. Anything that’s implausble will probably be more accurate but probably divergent from where we end up.

    So I’m going to go with the most ridiculous thing I can think of:

    Once we discover that faster than light travel, planetary terraforming and colonization is not actually possible and we can never live on Mars or leave our own solar system, we will respond to overpopulation by shrinking every person and man-made structure on the planet so as to make more efficient use of our dwindling natural resources.

    • A valid prediction, but I would think that if we have gained the resources needed to have a shrink ray capable of reducing one’s size, we would have some significant progress toward space travel and the likes.

    • The TNG style was at least partly the result of the lower available budgets for TV. There simply wasn’t the money to make the set look like a straight-line evolution from contemporary bomber cockpits a la the Millenium Falcon or the Nostromo, with physical switches and buttons everywhere.

      • I can’t believe they decided with manouvers across so many axis there was no need for a joystick style device.

  • I, like many, still think there is a wealth of prediction in science fiction. But there is also a lot of sh.t.

    I think Minority Report (minus the clairvoyance and utopian road infrastructure) was pretty spot on.

  • In the distant future two worlds will exist, reality and virtual. Both of these will be considered equally valid places to live, with people going years without stepping foot outside of their virtual world or reality. Physical bodies will be throw away things, machines made from organic and synthetic parts on automated assembly lines to look like anything imaginable. A person, an animal, a 60 foot tall demon. People will load their minds into these bodies and use them as avatars to interact with the real world. Most people will have multiple bodies stationed around the galaxy that they can load into. Want to go from Earth to Mars? You won’t catch a spaceship, you’ll simply beam your consciousness from a body located on Earth to one located on Mars.

    Death will essential be eliminated. Everyone will have multiple back ups of their mind. If you’re physical body is threatened, your mind will automatically be uploaded to the virtual world where it will be safe.

    The definition of life as we know it will change. Artificial minds will be just as prominent in society as people who’s minds come from an organic brain. There will be people who are born entirely in the virtual world.

    Between the virtual world and the technological advances in the real world, every single need will be met. In the virtual world people will be able to have whatever they want with the snap of a finger. In the real world, people would be able to almost anything they need from automated factories turning out free products of anything you can imagine. Because people can now get what ever they want, whenever they want it, without having to work for it, and because things like death have been eliminated, people will become bored with life. This will lead to them inventing games, scenarios they build up where they impose unbreakable rules upon themselves. A virtual world that has a set of rules that can’t be changed. If you enter one of those worlds, you cannot leave it until you die in that world, and if you die in that world, you can never go back. Worlds where you can’t just conjure anything you want with the snap of your fingers but instead have to work towards things. Worlds where, as I mentioned above, death is a reality. You won’t actually die, your consciousness will simply be kicked out of the world, but you will be unable to re-enter it, unable to see the people from that world you’ve grown to love until they to die. It will be the closest thing to simulating what life was like before all this new technology came along. Of course the worlds wouldn’t just be emulating what real life was like before technology, you’d get worlds where the laws of science are completely different to reality, worlds with magic and super heroes, but the whole working towards goals and the threat of death would be the same as real life.

    These simulations would also be present in the physical world. People would inhabit bodies and impose limitations upon those bodies so life doesn’t become too easy. They’d go to certain parts of space that have been set up not to include those automated factories I mentioned above so people would have to work for and build their own things.

    Our civilization will constantly be expanding. We’ll have auto piloted ships traveling in every single direction in the universe, constantly depositing computers/servers/nodes/whatever that will increase the range of our virtual world and allow people to transport their consciousness to new unexplored regions of space. They’ll also be depositing automated machines that will harvest minerals from planets and build factories from which new bodies can be built for people to inhabit in these new reaches of space and new products for them to use. These automated spaceships will also of course be depositing inhabitable bodies themselves so some people can jump straight onto a new world right away without having to wait for a factory to build them a body.

    In the end it will be like our galaxy is its own living entity, with quadrillions or more human minds flying around the galaxy and quadrillions or more people located in physical bodies conversing the galaxy. And we’ll keep expanding into other galaxies, like a great wave ever racing outwards. It is the final evolution of the human race.

  • My prognostication is that if it isn’t a post-apocalyptic wasteland style future, then it will be something akin to the Matrix crossed with Inception (The scene with the people living their lives in the dreamworld) in that everyone will be hooked up to a device and living in a virtual reality of their own choosing without ever wanting to return to the real world.

  • I envision a future where everything is like today, but faster and shinier. Face it, hoverboards aren’t happening. I’m a cynical old bastard.

  • In the future man and woman will evolve into the same gender – the oman. Procreation will be achieved via an extremely versatile phallus, entering the anus and offspring will be spewed forth from the parents mouth. Omen will not wear clothes as shame has its roots based in sexual competition. Media will no longer use sex as an advertising tool – instead it will be replaced by detailed factual information weighing both cost and benefit. Society will begin showing cracks as omens motivation for success plummets – no longer needing to impress a potential companion they cease showing the innovation, creativity or drive that pushes their civilisation forward. Omen will not know who to go to when the jar is too hard to open.

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