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The Incredible Secret Future of Videogames

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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