The Future of Online Games

The digital games industry is booming. It’s expected that the video game market will reach $42-44 bln by 2011. It’s also being said that 89% of casual gamers are 30+ years old and 70% of casual gamers are females 40+ years old, contrary to popular belief that video games are nothing but a teen trend. Video game designers and artists are now among the highest paid of the lot, and without doubt the quality of gaming content coming out today is outstanding.

I haven’t been an avid video games lover myself. I used to own an Atari long time back, but it never branched from there to a PS, XBox or Wii. Neither did I ever install any of the fancy PC games on my computer (a work-related development machine), mainly because these games accounted to several MB’s of disk space and affected the system performance. However, once in a while, games can be a great stress-buster. I remember playing “Quake” back at work (Gaming Friday’s), and “Counter Strike” back at the uni, with 15-20 of us connected in a multi-player environment via the campus LAN. Recently I’ve been following some online games (mainly Flash based) in my spare time. And there have been several eye-catching games I’ve came across. Another amazing visually-rich game is Samorost.

CDXBut one online adventure game that stunned me the most is “CDX“, which has been produced by BBC UK History Team. CDX is by far the most cinematic online game I’ve ever played. Two things that set CDX apart and make it so damn interesting are its plot (based on Roman history, but set in present day), and the visual appeal (it has actual interactive video footage in most parts). It’s like, you are progressing along in a movie. It got me hooked until I was able to complete the whole game (four episodes). Once you get involved in the game, you can seek advice at the CDX forums. Due to the audio/video intensive nature of the game, one can only think of playing it on a broadband internet connection.

I envision online games like CDX and virtual environments like Second Life will draw the next generation of online entertainment.

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