Sci-fi writers predict the future of gaming

Edge magazine speaks to William Gibson, Richard Morgan and Alastair Reynolds about what high-tech videogame developments we can expect

How will videogames have evolved in ten years' time? How will you be playing them? SFX 's sister magazine Edge , the influential and long-running games title, asked some big thinkers to forecast what digital fun might be like in the years ahead.

As well as quizzing industry insiders like former Sony bigwig Phil Harrison (who predicts the decline of console gaming and a rise in free-to-play models) they also spoke to top SF writers, many of whom will be familiar to regular SFX readers.

Scientist and novelist Alastair Reynolds (renown for signing a £1 million deal with book publishers Gollancz) talks about the rise of augmented reality - "[the trend] will continue until we reach the seamless integration of the real world and the augmented world, and the technology will be increasingly less clunky," he tells them, although adding a caveat to the article that "one of the problems with predicting the future is you tend to overestimate change on a short-term timescale. I remember reading an article from 2000 speculating on what the average home PC of the year 2010 would be like and it was wildly inaccurate. ten years is not that long in terms of some sort of development timescale."

The mag also grills cyberspace legend William Gibson, who talks about how "the distinction we now insist on drawing between [real and virtual worlds] will eventually seem quaint and arbitrary."

Visitors to the first SFX Weekender in 2010 will have had a chance to see Richard Morgan, SF and fantasy writer and also the scribe behind this year's game Crysis 2 ; in the Edge article he casts a sceptical eye over visor-based gaming and augmented reality.

All this and more is in the Flash Forward article in issue 229 of Edge magazine , which is on sale until 5 July.