The Incredible Secret Future of Videogames

By Alec Meer on April 1st, 2010 at 7:44 pm.

In 17 years, it will be 2010. The number 17 is important to us because that’s the age at which mother will finally let us buy our own clothes. Also, 2010 sounds totally sci-fi. We’ll defintely have jetpacks and laser-epiglottises by then. Having spent years deep in exhaustive, cutting-edge research, these are our top 17 (we do like that number) predictions for the future:

1. It will be possible for up to four (four!) people to play a multiplayer game on one PC, thanks to a special adaptor which allows you to connect multiple keyboards to one PS/2 socket.

2. Hard drives will have capacities of up to one gigabyte, but due to size and heat output involved, they will come built into the back of kitchen refrigerators.

3. id’s John Romero will have made you his bitch.

4. IBM’s OS/7 will be the leading operating system, though hardcore nerds will maintain that MS-DOS 18 is the superior product.

5. It will be possible to talk to the monsters in Doom 4.

6. Mice will be replaced with cats, a shoebox-sized all-purpose controller with five buttons that can navigate through time as well as space.

7. The leading publishers will be Interplay, Microprose and Gremlin.

8. In order to reduce filesizes, each videogame will be accompanied by a high-quality Minidisc soundtrack, which you must play simultaneously from your PC’s Minidisc drive.

9. People will believe Japanese games are innately better than Western games, because they come from Japan and so seem a bit otherworldly, despite most of them being completely ordinary and often highly regressive.

10. The leading genre will be flight-simulators, now so popular and realistic that every house in Britain has been converted to include a Cockpit Room. Most men will opt for the controversial Rudder Implant when they reach puberty. Its long-term effects remain unknown, but there are reports it can cause gigantism of the septum.

11. Advances in 3D display technology mean monitors can only be sold to people over the age of 21, due to the thousands of sharp edges jutting out the front of them. This is in response to the infamous Radio Shack massacre of 2003, an event considered more tragic than both World Wars put together.

12. CD-ROM drives will be capable of extruding a thin, high-protein gruel capable of sustaining any gamer through a 312-hour Civilization XII session.

13. Respected rapper Kieron Gillen will have released his eighth consecutive triple-platinum album, “Why I Really Like Writing About Men Punching Other Men.”

14. Every branch of Our Price will open at midnight for the release of Zool: Modern Jumping 2, a controversial spin-off of the hugely successful Zool franchise. Modern Jumping 2 made headlines due to a level in which Zool attends a friend’s party and selfishly eats an entire bag of Licorice Allsorts without offering one to anyone else. It is banned in Germany.

15. Someone will have finally made a decent sequel to 1994 strategy game X-COM.

16. The father of videogames, Pong creator Nolan Bushnell, will have effectively abandoned the industry he created in favour of opening a tacky pizza restaurant for bored children.

17. The world at large will have accepted videogames as an important and valuable all-ages entertainment medium, capable of incredible feats of immersion and interaction which film, fiction and television cannot hope to rival. It will have been over a decade since any narrow-minded conservative pundit accused them of inspiring children to become murderers. The world will be happy, and beautiful.

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80 Comments »

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  1. Greg Wild says:

    Slowest news day. Ever.

    • Heliosicle says:

      Yea it has been pretty dull..

    • Wulf says:

      Doom’s on the horizon, a demo of Betrayal at Krondor was released, and you call this a slow news day?? What’s wrong with you two? If this is a slow news day then I wish I knew what a fast one, was!

    • Bret says:

      How about a new game by the team behind laser squad?

      OH WAIT.

      That’s happening too! Great time to be alive.

  2. jsutcliffe says:

    Gremlin, the forgotten publisher. *wipes away a tear*

    • Rinox says:

      Yeah, I miss Gremlin. Even if it were just for the fact that they never got to release a sequel to the amazing Realms of the Haunting, one of the most underestimated games of all time.

      *rages*

    • ShaunCG says:

      Oh hell yes. I loved Realms of the Haunting. Great game, naff FMV and all!

  3. robrob says:

    Pretty sure Kieron’s rap alter-ego is Brem X Jones if back issues of PC Gamer are to be believed

  4. robrob says:

    Oh gosh that logo is hideous. Who let John loose on the emboss filter?

  5. Wulf says:

    This has been wonderful, simply wonderful! Thank you, RPS!

    “13. Respected rapper Kieron Gillen will have released his eight consecutive triple-platinum album, “Why I Really Like Writing About Men Punching Other Men.””

    Oh dear. Will this include his hit single, “Pugilism Powah!”, which is composed of the mewls and cries of a tortured Terry Cavanagh?

  6. Ergates says:

    I believed it up to point 15…

  7. Lewis says:

    Number nine is basically true.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      I think everyone thought “wait, that one’s true” when they get to 9.

    • Wedge says:

      Except it isn’t. I don’t understand why so many PC gamers seem to revel in hating all Japanese games when they don’t even make games for PC. Japan isn’t that different then America, you just have to look a little off the radar to find their genuinely better games. For all you can deservedly rag on their shitty storylines, at least they know how to make entertaining combat systems. Unlike every western RPG using some bland awkward D’n’D dervitave, or worse going full real time and ending up with the tripe Bethesda calls combat.

      I’ve yet to see anywhere but Japan produce something like Valkyria Chronicles novel take on turn-based strategy with active defensive mechanisms, or have realtime systems with skillfull and meaningful risk/reward combat like Demon’s Souls.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      That’s exactly the sort of fawning Japanophile nonsense that makes Japanese gaming fanboys fun to gently mock.

      Just because I think Japanese gaming has an undeserved reputation with some fans, that doesn’t mean I hate Japanese gaming. I like the vast majority of Japanese games, and love quite a few of them, and the fact they don’t come out on PC has no bearing on that because I see myself as a gamer (and I own three systems, and friends have another two that I play regularly), not as a PC gamer.

      Although for whatever it’s worth, I’d gladly take the combat system of a Bethesda game over the tedious menu choosing nonsense that is Final Fantasy combat. And yes, I’m aware that Japenese RPGs don’t all use that style, but we’re comparing the most well known examples here so it’s apt in this instance.

  8. Jacques says:

    John Romero’s a genius, he’ll never let me down.

  9. Sarlix says:

    Let’s party like it’s 1998!

  10. britpunk says:

    God man, number 15 is like totally unrealistic.

    Anyway, I think when you find yourselves in the year 2010, you should do this again. Predictions are fun, and I’d like to know what’s in store for 2027.

  11. Yargh says:

    Oh dear, one of the above is going to come true…

    • Premium User Badge

      zak canard says:

      I’d best get the lube ready to be made John Romero’s bitch then.

  12. Feste says:

    It was all so plausible until point 17, we all know that one will never happen!

  13. kalgor says:

    “The leading publishers will be Interplay, Microprose and Gremlin. ”
    I would have believed this prediction…

  14. Soban says:

    Well, number 9 unfortunally came to be true.

  15. Huggster says:

    Something about all these articles makes me feel a little sad ….. memories …. fading …… things no more

  16. kalidanthepalidan says:

    I miss Interplay…. :(

  17. Alex says:

    More importantly… DWARF FORTRESS IS OUT. There goes the rest of the year.

  18. Uncle Grandpa says:

    I really enjoy how number 15 is a DOUBLE vision of the future!

  19. mbp says:

    All of your predictions sound very credible except for number 16. That is never going to happen.

  20. Pace says:

    Chuck E Cheese’s was great. Really!

  21. Joe Duck says:

    Thank you RPS, and thank all the readers/commenters.
    I am going through extremely difficult personal circumstances and this series of previews has bought memories of better, more naive times.
    Awesome idea, awesome work and awesome flavour.
    You’ve made my day in very difficult moments.

    • RedFred says:

      Cheer your self up with obnoxious amounts of chocolate!

      Hail the Bunny!

  22. psyke says:

    Our Price!

  23. dogsolitude_uk says:

    1’s wrong because the PC can’t process more than one input at the same time

    2’s wrong because there’s no point. 1 Gigabyte is a pointlessly huge amount of space and no-one will ever need that much. What would we use it for?

    3’s weird. Who’s John Romero? Why’d he try to make us into dogs?

    4’s wrong. The PC won’t overtake the Amiga now Commodore’s got the A1200 out, so we’ll be using Workbench or something derived from it, probably in 3D, maybe even using VR to move around geometrical shapes that represent files.

    5’s possible. It might even be possible to have a real-time conversation with characters in a game too. If you look at Captain Blood you’ll see that we’re already part of the way there.

    6’s wrong – it will be VR with a headset and glove interface, maybe even two gloves.

    7’s wrong because you missed out Psygnosis, Exxos and Novagen

    8’s wrong because games will actually come on minidiscs and the music will be on one side and the game will be on the other so there’s no need for two

    9’s wrong because Japan only makes games consoles, not computers. Consoles won’t be successful in the long run because you can’t program them, and so whats the point? I’ve got a friend who bought a Sega Mega CD and he can’t do anything with it except play games. You can’t use stuff like Degas Elite on it or Devpac C.

    10 and 11 are both wrong because we’ll all be using virtual reality headsets by then.

    12 might be right, but a feeding tube from the VR headset would make more sense

    13 Dogsolitude_uk will team up with the Aphex Twin and Depeche Mode to make a really wicked album that will be a cross between Violator and Surfing on Sine Waves. He’ll become incredibly rich and famous, move to St George’s Hill in Weybridge and marry that girl he fancies.

    14’s wrong because Our Price doesn’t sell games. You have to go to WH Smiths for games, or Ultima. It’s cheaper to order them cheap from a mail order company like Special Reserve though.

    15 could be right or wrong. We’ll never know.

    16’s a real shame. He gave so much and asked so little.

    17’s dead right though. If you flip through ACE magazine you can see how far games have come, with almost photorealistic graphics on 16 bit games like the Cinemaware titles. Give it a couple of years and we’ll see games reviews in broadsheet newspapers like the Independent, and maybe blockbuster Hollywood films based on best selling titles (a bit like Ocean making games of films, but the other way round!). That would be so excellent.

    • Carra says:

      2. We can never store enough porn! Imagine a Leisure sweet larry game… but in 3D! How cool wouldn’t that be?

  24. Radiant says:

    World /is/ happy and beautiful!
    ‘cept for today the rain was ridiculous.

  25. Rosti says:

    Absolutely adore the Battlestar Galactica reference on this, Alec. Dirk Benedict is my hero.

  26. the wiseass says:

    Honestly I wouldn’t mind reading a gaming website that is set 17 years backwards in time on a regular basis.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Well if you’d like to have it in the authentically traditional glossy magazine format, why not subscribe to Retro Gamer?

  27. Saiko Kila says:

    About publishers and Amigas… I’ve found a nice one from 1994 (Usenet) about Electronic Arts and their competition practices, by Geoff Adams of rec.games.video.cd32: “Bullfrog not supporting the CD32. They are now puppets of EA, a major 3DO shareholder, and so it looks almost certain that unless 3DO fails, EA will stop at nothing to kill off the CD32 by strangling Bullfrog for starters. Thank god they don’t own anybody else.” Sounds somehow sinister to me.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Sad. Like how Ultima VII was full of digs at the evil Electronic Arts, and then–after EA bought them out–the (released largely hurriedly and unfinished) sequel had an easter egg of the Avatar bowing down to the EA logo. EA has killed so many!

    • MajorManiac says:

      Challenge Everything…… then break it.

  28. Traffe says:

    Great posts (and some great comments) RPS, thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  29. Army_of_None says:

    I love you, past-RPS, and I love you, 2010-RPS.

  30. Ian says:

    A WHATabyte?

  31. We Fly Spitfires says:

    Brilliant :) #17 is almost upon us!

  32. Sir Digby says:

    Right guys.

    I get that we’re all excited for the future of video games, I’m excited as the next person. But do we really have to spend all our time looking forwards? Would it not be possible to look back at our roots, to see where came from. Perhaps we could learn something? In all this fancy talk of DOOMs and Sams and Maxs I hope that there is still time to remember the past.

  33. Markoff Chaney says:

    This whole day has been absolutely wonderful. I still remember when I felt I could never fill 20mb, much less that elusively impossible 1GB. Thank you, Gentlemen. I Love You RPS!

  34. Jesse says:

    You guys keep doing special features, like this and the long-form game diaries, that are always informative and funny but turn out on the way to be kind of touching, too. It’s weird. Something good is going on here. Thanks guys.

    And thanks commentators, about 99% of your humor is right on target, as always. Again – weird. As far as I know this place maintains a level of quality unique on the Internet. I don’t know why, but again – thanks to Kieron and company.

  35. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    I’m mildly freaked out, about 10 minutes before I read this I thought of the chupa chups infested delight that was Zool – I’m glad you think there might be more Zool in the future, the first 2 games we’re a blast! Licorice though . . . surely Zool will never sell out to the lollipops’ greatest enemy!

    • Taillefer says:

      Zool caused me to play the tune from Close Encounters in any game that makes it somehow possible. Just in case.

  36. Raziel_axd says:

    I must say, gents, this was incredible. You guys deserve… something for this imagination and ideas. And it’s incredible how great most commenters participated in this… Congrats to more great days like this in 2010 and beyond.

  37. Novotny says:

    Im going to go fiddle with my dog because why shouldn’t he be as happy as we? I know in like 2010 he’ll be able to buy his own video games but right now I’m going to stoke him up like it’s Lassie 2000: the movie!

  38. Carra says:

    Never heard of them. Makes me geel young again.

  39. geldonyetich says:

    Well, just so long as the games in 2010 are mostly focused on entertaining the core gamers instead of being cheap sellouts which appeal to casuals, everything will be fine. Fortunately, I don’t think developers would be so dumb to shoot themselves in the foot like that!

  40. ManaTree says:

    That.

    Was.

    Amazing.

    Thank you RPS. You never fail to entertain and inform, in all seriousness.

  41. Spacewalk says:

    I cannot dispute any of these and I am not about to try.

  42. Cpt. Sqweky says:

    I don’t know how it is in Britain, but here in America, while conservatives have their fair share of narrow-minded politicians (Jack Thompson, anyone?), it’s much more likely for liberals to condemn video games and call for their censorship and/or banning. Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton are at the forefront of that battle over here, and it’s hard to get more liberal than they.

    • Oddtwang says:

      /falls about laughing

    • jalf says:

      it’s hard to get more liberal than they.

      *snickers*

    • Premium User Badge

      Norskov says:

      it’s much more likely for liberals to condemn video games and call for their censorship and/or banning

      There’s something wrong about that statement.

    • jalf says:

      it’s hard to get more liberal than they.

      Ah, there’s nothing like American poltiics. Somehow, it all takes place in the 5% of the spectrum between “right-wing lunatic” and “extreme right-wing”, and it is is simply impossible to even imagine that it is possible for a person to place themselves beyond those boundaries.

      No, there is nothing extreme about either of those two. Compared to other US politicians you might consider them Marx’s right hands, but in the rest of the world, they’re merely moderate conservatives

    • Cpt. Sqweky says:

      I will never cease to be amazed how much people are able to self-delude themselves.

    • Kanamit says:

      Please tell me this is a joke. Yeah, Joe Lieberman is a liberal firebrand alright.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      Joe and Hillary called. They’ll have you know that they have NO problems sucking off the corporate tit, punching babies, or drilling for oil in pristine waters, and want you to take back your dirty liberal comment.

  43. Gamer_V says:

    It might just be me or slight quantities of alcohol, but am I the only one who found this article slightly depression?

  44. The Dark One says:

    I would have slipped in some totally unlikely prediction like John Goodman lounging in a dirty hob tub for a FMV sequence.

  45. Kevin says:

    *Looks at the news of “The leading genre will be flight-simulators” and sighs*

    Well, there was a time when we dreamt that *sniff*

  46. Prey King says:

    You mean Valkyria Chronicles as in that game where the AI is allowed to cheat and attack you during your turns?

  47. Dreamhacker says:

    On #9 in the list: I swear, Japanese games were better than Western games…. in the mid-90’s!

  48. Bruno says:

    I loved the news today !
    Great fun to read :)

  49. Enshu says:

    7. The leading publishers will be Interplay, Microprose and Gremlin.
    and
    15. Someone will have finally made a decent sequel to 1994 strategy game X-COM.
    is actually sad. I feel old and heartbroken.

  50. Corporate Dog says:

    In 1996, I’ll be in my Junior year at Syracuse University.

    And I predict that me and my buddies will routinely blow off classes on Friday, visit the local Chuck E. Cheese*, eat crap pizza, drink watery pitchers of beer, and spend the entire day playing the most AWESOME vintage** arcade game collection, this side of Funspot.

    *Which will be largely empty on a Friday afternoon, and have yet to be remodelled into the EVEN MORE kid-friendly place it resembles today.

    ** Because by then, the games of the eighties will be considered vintage. I’ll also have a jetpack.