Interviewer: Welcome to the programme, Bob Lamont. Now you’re going to talk to us about the online gaming industry. We’ve had many listeners, especially parents of young children, email questions about the future of the gaming industry and how it’s going to develop.
Bob Lamont: Well, hopefully I’ll be able to answer some of their questions. Firstly, it’s important to remember that this is an industry that develops incredibly rapidly and so it’s difficult to make definite predictions. So, in term s of significant developments that people working in the industry are preparing for, the most interesting is the fact that the age group of gamers (people who play online and video games) will change dramatically. We predict that by 2020 the average age range w ill have shifted from teenagers to the over 50s. This is because in the future young people will be using new forms of entertainment but those who are young now are more likely to continue using the forms of entertainment they are already used to in later life. By 2020 this age group will have been playing the same type of game for half their lives and are unlikely to change. The types of games w ill progress too from the platform-based games we have now, which we expect people to be using until 2015, to 3D games towards the end of the decade. However, before everyone is using 3D games there w ill be a period when networked games w ill become the dominant format. This is mostly to do with the technology available and the fact that gaming companies won’t have invested enough money to make 3D cheap enough for the mass market until at least 2018. Now, as you would expect, the gaming market w ill spread so that by 2020 companies w ill have created a worldwide marketing strategy for every game, therefore reducing the need to create new games for different regional markets. This is different from today where we see that the online gaming industry is much more focused on the region of Asia and this is likely to continue for a few more years. One final point to mention here is the competition from other forms of entertainment. Over the next decade very few forms of entertainment w ill be able to compete with the gaming industry. However, there is talk of movies becoming interactive in the future. This is a real threat. Tech companies w ill have developed the necessary technology for interactive movies by 2015 and this may attract gamers who like character-based games in large numbers.
Interviewer: Fascinating, Bob. I didn’t realize it was such a complex business. Thank you very much for your in sig h t… [fade]
Curator: Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Museum of Technology. We’ll be taking a tour around the three floors, which will last approximately one hour and then after that you’ll be able to explore the museum on your own.
Now, let’s begin with The Internet: Past, Present and Future on the first floor. By this Friday the exhibition w ill have been open for two weeks, it started on July 10th, and it’ll continue for three more weeks so make sure you see it today otherwise it’ll probably have finished by the time you think about coming back! The final day of the exhibition is 31st July. The most interesting part of this section of the museum is about the Internet of the future. As you walk around you’ll see some large 3D touch screens which show how w e ‘ll probably be using computers in about five years. These screens are definitely the best part of the display and something you must see.
Moving on to the third floor, the exhibition here is all about communicating via
the Internet and it’s called Social Networking. This exhibition is open throughout
August from 1st to 30th. There is a fascinating part of the exhibition which is really worth seeing as it compares mobile phone and Internet usage and shows how we’ll be using social networking in the future. According to some scientists, by the middle of this century we w ill have been participating in communication through social networking so much that mobile phones w ill have become obsolete! Make sure you take a look at the world digital map which shows this visually, as it’s quite amazing.
The final exhibition is opening on the fourth floor and is dedicated to small handheld devices that companies w ill have introduced into our shops by the end of next year. In fact you may have already seen some of them being advertised on TV. The name of this section is ‘Portable Devices of the 21st Century’ and it’s starting tomorrow on July 22nd and w ill be open until August 20th. This part of the museum is about sixth sense technology. This technology w ill have been included in all portable devices like mobile phones and music players within three years or so. It also shows us examples of satellite tracking systems which we w ill be using to help us plan our daily lives. These two sections are fascinating and I recommend you spend some time viewing both.
So, let’s start the tour. If you could all follow me… [fade]