The video games of the future

Xander Fu

Xander Fu

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Playing video games is a pastime that is shared by adults and kids alike. Soon the parents and grandparents of the new generation of gamers won’t even recognize the video games of the future.
While I am sure there will always be video games that can be played on a console (XBOX, Playstation, etc.) and on PCs, there is a new type of game that is making its way to the public: Virtual Reality (VR).
By now many people may have seen the commercials for the personal VR headsets that use a phone app to create a 3D experience.
However, the future of VR is looking to be more in-depth than a mobile app with the use of equipment like the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift.
The two set-ups both use VR headsets, as well as headphones and hand-held controllers, to give the player more control than they would normally get by just using the goggles alone.
I got to experience for the first time some of the work that goes into making a VR game while attending Global Game Jam (GGJ) this past weekend.
GGJ is a 48-hour event where groups of programmers, artists, sound developers and various  participants create their own video games.
The team I was a part of was comprised mostly of semi-professional game developers who specialize in making VR games.
While most of the participants at our GGJ site stayed at the Pacific Science Center to work, my significant other  and I went with our team to their studio to take advantage of their space and equipment.
As GGJ continued,  I quickly learned that there is a lot of work that goes into creating a VR. The programming software is different than it is with 2D games, and there is more work that has to be done in regards to art, since VR games are 360 degrees.
Though it takes time to make VR games, the possibilities for their use are endless. In addition to games that can be played for fun, other programs can be used for a purpose.
Games that are fighting-based or require players to move around constantly can be used as a form of exercise. Games like “Tilt Brush” (an art program) can be used as a sketchbook—there is a dress form that is helpful for putting together outfit ideas—or as a way to get into art (especially if you are like me and can’t draw).
Even CWU has its own use for VR technology in the Multimodal Education Center (MEC) that education majors can use to help them create lesson plans with the new technology. The MEC provides programming for physics, engineering and puzzle solving.
The possibilities for the use of VR are just about endless, from just for fun to using it for education.
Unfortunately, right now if you want to buy an HTC Vive, it is about $800 just for the headset; that means that if you want to actually play games you have to buy controllers, not to mention headphones for any audio input.
Hopefully, as the VR industry continues expanding the price may go down or they  will become more available for people to get.
Because even if you aren’t a gamer, it is a great experience to put on those goggles and see a whole new world.  Xander Fu

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The video games of the future