Friday, 4 April 2008

Get on your virtual bike

Back in 58 Willy Higinbotham demoed “tennis for two”, what he didn’t know was future games producers in the audience were dreaming of sadistic, gore ridden bloodfests. The games industry is the phenomenon of the late 20 century when spotty teenagers made mega bucks from a weeks work and multi million dollar companies were constructed over night. But for those on the inside its a different story … the games industry has another reputation, its really more cut throat than an 18 rated splatter house sequel. Young minds are ravaged, patents are broken code is stolen and companies are bought, sold and stripped of any decent ideas they may have had. This is because the number of people who buy games as a percentage of the population is less than 5% and the market is completely saturated, any game consumer has traditionally been fought over tooth and nail by some of the best minds of the centaury.

But, just as Willy had his day so have the “young white male” focused games producers. Games have changed and so has the games industry. Why fight for the people in the 5% when you can sell to the other 95% without any competition. The Xdream fitness bike is a really good attempt to sell computer games and virtual worlds to people are really into fitness, in the same way the brain training is aimed at the female market and dizzywood is aimed at the under 10’s. Nintendo has also just announced that the price of the wii fit has increased by £20, this is not because of manufacturing cost no no no … this is simply because demand is through the roof and Nintendo know that people will still buy it.

More than half of the worlds population now lives in a city, combine this with the big software vendors, governmental and games industries interest in the home, and you get virtual worlds connected into every part of your entertainment, Leisure and media consumption.

1 comment:

Steve Nimmons said...

I would like to see more creativity go back into education software. We have great gaming technology, graphics and processing capabilities, but content innovation ‘beyond the gore-fest’ has been less than inspiring. Imagine the possibilities to create truly engaging simulators where theoretical and hands on learning and experimentation were supported. It would be even more interesting to see what could be done to improve the lives of those with learning difficulties. There are of course massively expensive and sophisticated medical and engineering applications running in industry, but we could do so much better in creatively using the leisure time of the young to educate and inspire (online ‘constructive’ collaboration, prizes, even extra credits and distributed home work projects).

On the point of expansion of virtual worlds, I was pleased (generally) to see IBM setting up a fire walled version of 2nd Life for their own internal use. This gives employees the same online experience, but controls access and privacy. Big Blue shows the way!

Elliott - a little more

London, United Kingdom
I am an architect with shed loads of familiarity in providing high profile consumer media, products and services. I conceive ideas, design and lead projects to create new consumer products. I love brainstorming ideas with marketing counterparts and creating future facing and innovative solutions. I have been responsible for high volume mass consumer market features where scale, reliability and the ability to quickly respond are of crucial importance.