The gaming industry in the UK is worth an estimated £3.9bn and is constantly undergoing periods of evolution and that trend looks set to continue in the coming years. Virtual reality led innovations in the gaming industry this year with the proliferation of companies such as Oculus Rift. One of the most popular new businesses was Icaros from HYVE, a ‘bodytainment’ system which combines a VR headset with a futuristic looking workout station that lets users enjoy adventures such as flying through space or deep sea diving while exercising.
Innovative games attract the hearts of many. More so, some innovative games are able to provide therapy to the youngster. Mental health is another issue the gaming industry has been addressing, especially when it comes to youth and children who often find it hard to communicate with those wanting to help them. Triangle of Life is one such app, developed by students at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University and Allegheny Health Network. The game, targeted at children who have suffered from traumatic experiences, teaches them healthy cognitive coping skills, and helps to replace negative thoughts with positive reinforcements.
The best way to engage kids with learning is to make it fun, and we have seen this logic applied many times. Continuing the trend of gaming going beyond offering just entertainment, we also saw Pirates: Tides of Fortune,a Massively Multiplayer Real Time Strategy Game (MMORTS), designed to educate players about ancient settings when buccaneers roamed the seas freely in search of adventure, treasures, and fame. Being the Captain of your own crew, it guides players to become Captains of their own lives.
The storyline is very intriguing too: sail to a desert island where you will plant your flag and raise your pirate Haven. It is an epic adventure for players of this game. There, you will train your very own crew of ruthless rogues and construct a fleet of warships. With the aid of the cunning Captain “Bonnie” Anne O’Malley, you will gather your crew and set sail to rid the Seven Seas of the landlubbers and their ilk. But such a campaign can’t be won with gunpowder alone. The player must master skills of warfare, diplomacy and trade if you want to truly rule the Seven Seas in Pirates: Tides of Fortune.
Prizes and new features are regularly released to the players in this game world. You will receive up to 30 offensive and 30 defensive prizes per day. Every day, the number of prizes you are able to raid will be updated. The regular updates entice players to keep in touch with the game’s player community – this social networking is another innovation in entertainment and gaming that we are seeing nowadays.
Startup Hackaball also joined this trend of educational gaming with their programmable ball, which is a throwable computer combining the thrill of physical play with an app for kids to invent and program new games.
There is also the “Talkies” from Toymail – a quirky new line of plush toys that let friends and family exchange messages with kids for two-way voice talk. With Toymail’s Talkies, kids can send messages to grown-up’s phones with the free Toymail app, send messages directly to other friend’s Talkies, and even play for hours online or offline with the on-board voice filtering software.
With the advent of innovative online and mobile games, surely it won’t be long until we see student enrolling in ‘Gaming’ degrees. The future looks bright for the career prospects of many game lovers and the industry, too.