Being an avid gamer, I still fondly recall the good old coin operated arcade days. Of course, video game industry has grown by leaps and bounds since the mundane world of pacman or side scrolling goodness of Double Dragon and Final Fight. The premise of the games, graphics/visuals and the share magnitude of what can now be achieved in the gaming world is simply incredible and defies belief. Suffice to say that every single aspect has gone under substantial overhauling. Apart from the ingredients mentioned above, one of the key components that has been fine tuned is the level of interactivity video games now offer compared to what was rendered in the years gone by.
What is Game Interactivity?
Gaming interactivity entails taking input from the player or players and returning feedback. For a typical 80’s era game, this interactivity from the player end entailed mashing buttons and moving the joystick. The game were used to return feedback in the form of something happening on the screen like the avatar jumping or performing some action. So, in essence, the games we had back in the 80’s were also interactive, but the quality and amount of interactivity was very limited. Fast forward 25 years or so, games began to emerge that upped the ante by providing level of immersion, which compelled players to completely lose themselves in the rendered fantastical world. These games commanded full and undivided attention of the gamers making them oblivious to their surroundings. Here are some of the basic tenants of modern game interactivity:
Enhanced Sensory Input and Feedback
As good as arcade games back in the days were, they can’t hold a candle to the share level of sensory interaction the games of today offer. In my teen years while playing games like Golden Axe or Kung Fu Master, I thought “this is as good as it gets” and “damn! This feels like I am in the ingame world”. The simple 2D graphics and monotone sound-track were simply too good to be true. Games nowadays with their 3D graphics, stereo sound and the recently discovered motion sensing capabilities project a surreal environment that blurs the confines of reality. Modern motion sensing games like Kinect Sports for Xbox 360 where you actually have to physically mimic the movements of playing a sport like tennis, which in turn is reflected by your on screen avatar, is a ground breaking technology indeed.
Game Premise or Narrative
Back in the days, gamers were used to settle for bare-bones game premise such as revenge or embarking on a perilous journey to liberate a loved one from the clutches of game villain. The narrative since then has evolved to become more engaging, provocative encompassing and leveraging graphics + visuals to generate unique experience for the audience. Games like Bioware’s Mass Effect series are living embodiment of this. The developers created a fantastical futuristic world where humanity is not alone and is sharing the universe with different alien species. The narrative is so engaging that players begin to emotionally identify with the characters and situations being displayed and are hooked for good to find out how the story unfolds.
Amalgamation of social interaction tools such as text chat, voice chat used to craft multiplayer games where players irrespective of their physical or geographical location can interact with each other is a new level of interactivity. Gone are the days when multiplayer gaming equated to playing against another individual standing right next to you. Thanks to the above mentioned tools, complex social interaction such as forming in game teams to achieve the objective has become possible. For more information and a detailed list of interactive games, their reviews and relevant information click to go to gameinformer.com