How new technology is bringing the social aspect back to gaming

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 15, 2012

(BPT) – The advent of popular 1970s video game Pong marked the start of a competitive and social nature of playing video games, where kids across the country would gather to compete and crown one person champion. Since then the gaming industry has seen countless changes and updates from gaming consoles, accessories, game features, graphics and of course, the style of game play. What once was a social activity evolved into an isolated hobby. Now, new technology is changing the future of gaming.

History of popular gaming

After Pong, Atari’s console was born in the mid-seventies along with the concept of cartridge-based games where gamers could access several different titles at once. In 1985 Nintendo came out with their first gaming console, which featured numerous multiplayer titles including Super Mario Bros. and a number of sports games that continued to dominate the gaming industry throughout the 1990s. These platforms were ideal for social, face-to-face multiplayer gaming as they supported multiple controllers.

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Things started to gradually change as newer game consoles started to emerge and with them, new technologies. Now, for instance, almost all the major systems have some version of gesture control, revolutionizing the controller experience and therefore types of games that are made. Game makers are also catching up to new TV technologies. For example, Activision is working with LG to launch Call of Duty: Black Ops II in 3D, the next installment in the most successful gaming franchise of all time.

New tech only enhanced the social aspects of split-screen multiplayer gaming, which has been widely popular throughout recent generations of gaming consoles, driven by head-to-head competitive and casual games.

The dawn of online gaming rocked the gaming world because you no longer needed to be with your friends to play with them. Even more, if your friends weren’t around, you could still play multi-player with complete strangers.  

Modern gaming and social interaction

Today, gamers are highly competitive, but the social aspect of playing video games is diminishing. With online gaming, people play their favorite video games online against others from all over the world. Sounds social, right? There’s a catch: more often than not these gamers are alone playing video games for hours – the extent of their socialization is taunting their competitors.

Ultra-competitive gamers and casual gamers alike are hesitant to leave the confines of their personal gaming center, and online play allows them to fly solo. Many gamers have resorted to strictly online play and completely given up on social, face-to-face gaming. There is still hope, though, for gamers who miss hosting gaming parties and kids everywhere who still want to see their friends, even in an era where so many interactions are digital. 

A new and innovative “dual play” feature on the Cinema 3D TVs from LG allows gamers to see two completely different full-screen images on the same screen at the same time. Dual Play works via a special set of glasses. Gamers can rest assured, the technology works with any gaming console when playing a split screen format. Even better, gamers can enjoy playing online, but in groups instead of isolated in each other’s gaming layers.

Since its inception, gaming has become a worldwide pastime. Its origins were rooted in competition between at least two players, but in some cases, its evolution has pushed those competitors further and further apart. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a gaming session alone, gamers can take comfort with the fact that the social aspect of gaming doesn’t have to be eliminated. You can play next to another person without suffering half the screen or worrying that your competitor is taking an unfair advantage, even when playing online.