Do you eat candy made from your own underwear? Do you have your own personal helicopter parked on the roof? Do you play 11-player space games around a stand-up cabinet? Neither do we.
Yet that was the future as predicted by 'experts'. But could anyone predict the future of gaming and foresee the wondrous technology us gamers take for granted today? Well, let's take a look, starting almost six decades ago...
Popular Mechanics magazine predicted this back in 1950. Today, every Wii and PlayStation 3 owner can browse not only the likes of clothes and electronics stores over the net, but owners of all the major consoles can buy new games and movies using their machine. There isn't a real person on the other end holding things up to a camera for you, but you can't have everything.
Before the worldwide web was invented, the idea of video conferencing on demand was but a pipe dream. The world of 2000 according to 1950 would be connected, as this excerpt from the same article shows:
These days, we can chat via PSN or Xbox Live or hold conference calls over Skype. It isn't a separate screen for each person, so if anything we've already supassed these expectations. And while documents over a webcam are too hard to read, you can send an attachment via MSN or even attach a .jpg to messages over PSN.
The guesswork improved in the 1960s. A startlingly accurate film from 1967 called '1999 AD' got a lot of things right, cleverly looking at existing technology and following it through to its logical conclusion. While gaming is only briefly mentioned, a lot of the features of modern consoles' abilities such as more shopping through your TV are covered. Here's an extract from YouTube:
The full film is some 25 minutes long, and gets a bit bogged down in food preparation. That said, modern gamers will certainly be familiar with these prophetic images:
Above: Bet the kid wishes they'd gone for the widescreen model
Above: At a party, the hosts share a digital video of a singer they saw
The family has video ready to call up on their TV and even get asked for a copy - a 3D version. Amazing to think the 3D version of the video clip is the only thing that stands out as being beyond our current tech. Oh, but wait - what's this?
Above: The overlay may be crude, but the kid's online. Expect him to start calling everyone 'bitch' any second now...
This boy is playing chess online with his dad. Sure, he's got a physical board in front of him, but there's a big screen display of his moves and obviously some form of wireless data transmission over a network. Bear in mind that in 1967 gaming consisted of a couple of Spacewar! cabinets and very little else even resembling a videogame. Kudos to the filmmakers.
Let's move on to a time when videogames were taking over the world.
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