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A Look At Technological Advances In Video Games

By: Daniel Millions

Your mobile phone, computer, living room, and practically everywhere else are overtaken by the video game storm. Not so long ago video games were just a fad with simple physics-based games like Pong. But as video game technology has progressed, so too has the popularity and limits that are associated with games in today's society.

Can Artificial Intelligence Think Like Humans: Artificial intelligence isn't anything new; it was present every time you served a ball to the computer play in Pong. But what is new is the fact that artificial intelligence is starting to mimic human beings more and more every day.

In today's games, enemies will try war tactics such as flanking. They might try to throw a grenade when they can't get a clear visual of you. They'll help their own teammates to bring your life to an end. Sound familiar? This is something very similar to what we call real life warfare. With each passing year, AI is becoming increasingly intelligent. It's only a matter of time before humans are truly outsmarted in video games (by their own creations, no less!).

Physics in Today's Technology: If you were to jump, you'd expect to land back on the ground within a second or two, right? Well, this very action is associated with equations and formulas that scientists have developed. All that a video game developer needs to do is look at these equations and apply them to video games.

Physics in the original Pong are impressive. It shows well displayed geometry physics. But in today's video games, physics are becoming increasingly realistic. You might jump off a mountain, stumble, and get back up. You might get punched from an enemy, fall down, and try to turn the tides of the fight.

Some of the more interesting physics technology deals with lighting and water. How should light be refracted when it hits a liquid surface? And how would the sun's glare look underneath the ocean? These questions and more have been answered by video game developers for such games as Crysis.

Graphical Upgrades in Video Games: Pong wasn't such a beautiful game. It didn't make use of complicated shaders, textures, or sprites found in all of today's modern games. As time has marched on, there have been vast improvements in how graphics are rendered on gaming platforms.

Part of the reason technology has allowed for better graphics is through hardware upgrades. With limited processors of the Pong era, not much action could take place before choppy performance would have been observed. With today's high-speed hardware, we can allow for more pixels, instructions, and shading to take place- sometimes on a massive scale.

Technology has recently allowed for game development to be accessible to anyone- even without a computer science degree! Tools such as the Microsoft XNA Framework allow developers to create video games in a much less time span- and without the need to know a lot of computer jargon.

Where is Video Game Technology Going? Technology 20 years ago looked like it was the cutting-edge of what was to come- and now look! How would you compare a game of Pong to today's 3D shooters? You couldn't, and we can only hope in another 20 years we will be thinking the very same thing. While we can't foresee the future- virtual reality is one topic that has been being developed much in recent years. Time will tell!

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About The Author, Daniel Millions


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