(Click on the image for a full view – should be fixed now)
According to the image on the right, which was put together by a “virtual think tank” of professors and game/movie industry people, this is what the future of gaming and film could be. If any of it holds true as a trend, arcades will certainly be affected although certain events on this futuristic timeline have already occured, with such ideas/technology already having been demonstrated in arcades at some point. Take the full body Wii, there have been games which offer body tracking, Virtuality’s SU1000 comes to mind although that may be a crude version of what they are suggesting. We have seen other developments in the arcade sector which promote such tracking, so that’s not far off. I just don’t understand why they consider specific items on the list bad and others good such as “Gaming the movie” or “Gameplay gets Oscar for best film” being good things(perhaps by gameplay they mean cutscenes) or why it’s the best case for a virtual actor to get an Oscar but it’s not a good case if the highest earning celebrity is synthetic. They just seem to be at odds in some places. On their worst case line several of those things have happened already I thought – an audience that is used to violence, certain forms of e-gaming being prohibited already, online addiction seen as a serious problem in wired countries, etc. Even though a few things may seem crazy, you never know what might happen. Either way, as Mr. Williams points out in the comments, a lot of these things are out-of-home entertainment – the very kind of industry we’re involved in.
When it comes to holographic entertainment, I think that when it becomes affordable to do so, you’ll see such things being offered in the out-of-home entertainment sector early on. Of course arcades have dabbled with holographic-like devices in the past, albeit “true” holograms were not used, but Sega’s Holosseum or even Williams’ Pinball 2000 are some examples of what we have tried. Lately we’ve been seeing an uptick in “Augmented Reality” development, some of which we have reported on the site and I think that it’s a good trend and the arcade/out-of-home entertainment industry is certainly paving the way for that now as we saw at IAAPA.