Here is a very interesting thing that just so happens to have yielded intensely pretty results. The short version? We get to go "Ooooooooooooo high dynamic range spectral gazelle mapping slobber slobber moo" but also "Oh yes, hmmm, oh indeed, yes." It's all thanks to Enodo, a French company that's realized games could have tremendous practical potential in the realm of real-world industrial design. Its plan, then, is to use CryEngine 3 to create interactive models of the building forests (and sometimes, regular forests) of tomorrrrrrrrrrrrow. Now, today's demo is just a proof-of-concept video, but goodness, would you look at that?
Soon, we will be able to design the greatest elephant. That, I can only presume, was the goal of this little simulation. Or perhaps this:
"Enodo bridges two worlds, with only one purpose: to level up our client's business by questioning cutting edge Real Time 3D technologies, to show that the mechanisms governing the world of video games are powerful and will revolutionize the way to understand urban or industrial projects, their development, and their communication."
It is, admittedly, mired in painful business nostril-delivered buzzspeak, but I definitely like the idea. And honestly, this just seems like the tip of the iceberg. Imagine being able to tour an apartment or house you're interested in even though it's on the other side of the country, continent, or even planet. Or what if we had a way to suggest changes in city infrastructure with simulated conditions as evidence? "Yes, Mr President, I can indeed prove that turning the interstate highway into a giant, loopty-loop rollercoaster track will improve traffic flow 147 percent."
Seriously, though, there are some fascinating game-related possibilities on the horizon, and they don't involving shooting dudes or adding arbitrary point systems to real world tedium in a problematic attempt to up the "fun" factor. I definitely like the idea of games improving the world (beyond providing art and entertainment, because I do believe those improve the world as well), so I'm interested to see where this all goes. How about you?