Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Child Within

A video game has gone a long way since the days of the Pacman. Armed with more powerful computer machines, graphics accelerators and superb sound support, video games are as imaginative, vibrant and realistic. Video games from one country are not connected to another linking gamers of different culture and language become one.

It was not a long time ago when the computer world praised the arrivals of games like tic-tack-toe and even the Super Mario Brothers – technological and creative geniuses of their times. The games were simple then, hurdles the enemies and proceed to the next stage. The basic controls were the arrows, moving the characters forward and back and jump up and down.

Then came the interactive multi-player games where friends can battle each other or help each other go through the stages. So many keyboards and joysticks were smashed as fight games ruled the era. Characters with powerful kick and secret weapons dominated. It was the pinnacle of enjoyment for many.

However, it was not the last. Thereafter followed the role-playing games, the simulators, strategy games, then came the Internet which connected millions of gamers into a virtual world where they could explore, interact with other players from other countries.

These days, the race had somehow bottlenecked with no other technology exploding in the market after the Wii consoles, the Playstation and the Xbox, two of which had been churning out faster versions every so often.  The battle has indeed shifted, this time into content of the games and the overall exhilaration of the experience of gaming.

Faster graphic engines and computer processors opened the floodgates to realism first-person adventures, may it be on the battlefield, downtown Miami, Staples Center, the race tracks of the Monaco or even world of outer galaxy planets. One thing that evolved throughout the years though is that games have graduated from simple entertainment into thinking exercises. Where strategy is vital and a player’s personality and transported into the consoles and into the game. Games are no longer for the kids who are out on a weekend. They are now for adults looking forward to relieving stress and to have some loads of fun.

The next generation video games are on the horizon. Head sets with 360-degree views and virtual reality engines are fast approaching. However, while complicated gadgets are being developed so are portable gaming devices aimed at the people that are always on the go. The inter-connectivity and interactivity of games are also a future that has game developers racing to crack.

May it be breaking the boundaries of the virtual and real, or bringing all-weather entertainment in a gadget the size of the wallet games has brought a new level of fun but also perspective into people’s lives.  It somehow brings all of us, busy and hectic as we may on our daily grind, to those days when we were children. Video games bring out the child in us, raring to go out and play.