Predicting the future is tricky business, as any of the doomsday predictors of 2012 might tell you. Sure the idea of a sister planet crashing into Earth was doomsday internet hit gold but it was more an idea from a classic Doctor Who episode than reality. Despite getting it wrong a lot of the time, oracles are still sought after as we are always curious what tomorrow might bring.
The world of arcades isn’t as exciting perhaps as the end of the entire world but it is what we know here. As I mention in the last chapter of my new book, we can make some pretty good educated guesses based upon what is occurring right now. Of course at any time someone could introduce a game or concept that changes everything, which has happened many times in this industry over the years. If anyone knew what that concept might be then we would probably have it already.
One person to talk to if you want to know what an arcade of the future will probably be like is Kevin Williams. In addition to cover the nitty-gritty of the amusement sector in The Stinger Report newsletter, he also created the Digital Out-of-Home Interactive Entertainment Association. That tends to go by DNA Association for short. Regular readers of our site should be familiar with him has he feeds us news fairly often. Eurogamer.net has an article called “Step inside the arcade of the future: The coin-op is dead, long live the coin-op” where they discuss the subject of future arcades with Mr. Williams. One quote from the article:
… there’s ‘Hybrid Entertainment’, the utilization of Digital Out-of-Home technology in new areas of business including deployment with mixed reality games and alternative reality games. In this area we have wallFour, which is a great exponent of the use of gamification within a social environment. We were lucky enough to have them demonstrate at the recent DNA Association conference in Los Angeles last year, and the compelling nature of the game – which encourages the audience of a hundred players working together at a time – is highly enjoyable and unlike any consumer alternative. Another new start-up in this sector is Hide&Seek and their innovative Kinect-based Searchlight game, which sees players moving physical items to avoid being caught in the virtual searchlight.”
There is also talk of simulators and other technologies but I won’t steal the wind from the sails of the article. Suffice it to say, social gaming in the public space is going to play a bigger role in the scene than ever before. You can check out the article here. And to point out that wallFour system, here’s a video of it in action:
So what are your thoughts? Where do you think we will be in 10 years or so?