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Special contribution from Guest Author – Chatty Garrate:
Chatty is a freelance writer from Manila. She finds joy in inspiring and educating others through writing. That’s why aside from her job as a language evaluator for local and international students, she spends her leisure time writing about various topics such as lifestyle, technology, and business.

Gaming has become one of the most profitable sectors of technology, and the trend is poised to continue well into the next decade. Experts agree that video games will be well over $150 billion in revenue by the end of 2022. The advancements in technology have only made video games look better and play in some incredibly unorthodox ways. 

Technology that was previously thought to be the stuff of science fiction such as virtual reality is now at our fingertips. There are some trends in particular that people should look out for in the world of gaming, whether they be aspiring entrepreneurs looking to invest in the next big thing, or simply a gamer looking for new ways to have fun.  

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has always been one of the most sought-after advancements for gamers ever since the very concept of video games was first introduced to the general public. The idea of not only controlling characters on the screen but to being immersed in the same world that the character is in has always been the dream of many children back before VR was even invented.

Nowadays, VR is slowly but surely becoming a household item. Advancements in technology have made the previously unwieldy and often confusing VR headsets into sleeker and more compact designs. Wireless VR has already been making waves, and as more phones are also improving their software and hardware, Oculus Rift tier games may be possible in the future even for Google Cardboard users.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is the technology that makes use of the player’s location, and even camera, for its gameplay by overlaying virtual graphics over the real world. Games such as Pokemon Go! and Jurassic World: Alive have been incredibly popular games that utilize this technology and continue to be strong examples for the medium to this day.

Augmented reality games give players a level of immersion that is unique, even when compared to the likes of virtual reality. Developers are working hard to continue blending the real world and the digital world through this technology, and there may even be the possibility of mixing AR & VR in the future.

Cloud Gaming

Cloud gaming is the Netflix of video games. Instead of having to own a physical copy of a game or saving a digital version on your hard drive, cloud gaming enables players to simply stream games, either from a server or their console, in real-time and play from any screen they like. Of course, the technology is it’s still in its infancy, with a few major issues.

First of all, cloud gaming is limited by the physics of the real world. Latency, with the current technology for cloud gaming, gets worse the farther the player is from the server. In addition, it consumes a lot of internet data, and if you are not on an unlimited plan, this could mean a lot of expense. However,  these are present problems, and services such as GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming are showing some promising improvements, and are regularly used by a surprisingly high number of gamers for multiplayer.

Mobile Gaming

Mobile games continue to be one of the most profitable sectors of gaming, especially when the simplicity of the games on the platform is considered. Casual gamers no longer need to buy dedicated handheld devices for their mobile gaming needs. Phones are now considered their console, and it’s only a matter of time before phones catch up with today’s current meta.

Few would have expected the simple iPhone to be able to run classic games such as Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic and GTA: San Andreas in the future, and yet this is the timeline we live in. While mobile gaming is unlikely to ever replace console gaming, it’s able to stand on its own two feet as a fellow giant of the gaming industry. 

Cross-Play

With the consoles wars having long fizzled out in favor of a more or less “friendly rivalry”, cross-play has become more prevalent in the gaming world. In particular, many online games have made accounts universally accessible on any platform. Massive hits such as Genshin Impact and  Fortnite have implemented this feature, so whether you are on mobile or the console, you can play with the same gear and even with the same players.

Open Source Development

Many developers have made their engines available for free use to aspiring students and hobbyists. This increase in tools for people to use has made game development more accessible and diverse than ever. If anybody wants to be a game developer, they are immediately greeted with dozens of free tools on the market. Innovation is the product of collaboration, and open-source development is an amazing example of that.

Educational Gaming

The education sector once upon a time treated gaming as a distraction from studying. However, teachers have since wisened up to this outdated way of thinking and now view gaming as an effective learning tool for students. Gameifying learning is one of the many positives of modern education, as it tells students that they understand them, instead of demonizing what they enjoy.

For example, Minecraft offers an educational version of their game that makes learning python for kids more fun and engaging than ever before. Through block-based coding, Minecraft lets kids learn STEM-centric lessons within the confines of a virtual world. It’s not only fun, but it also actively challenges students on what they’ve learned in real-time.

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