It is one of the biggest buzzwords of the 21st century: “innovation”. It is one of the most jaw-dropping financial powerhouses (coming it at 108.9 billion market worth) in the modern industry: “gaming”. What these two things have in common is that 1) the public has acknowledged their importance adopting them into their motivational and pop-culture vernacular, 2) the public, generally, has no clue how each of them work, and 3) “innovation” and “gaming” share a technologically mutualistic relationship so potent, so untapped, so unknown, that we are only at the beginning of how computer gaming will become our new reality.
Video games are not just Grand Theft Auto or Candy Crush. They are not just for education or entertainment. Video games, by definition, are computer programs. They are the intersection of coding, programming, software design, artificial intelligence, visuals, music, and narrative work combined. In a total regard, video games are the unending clay upon which our human imagination has to mold.
Making video games requires an ability to appreciate art as much as it requires an ability to understand technology. One not only has to understand the choices and variables that can and will be presented when coding a game, there must also be an ability to anticipate and, quite literally, be bold enough to create a new reality never before lived in.
As Jane McGonigal states in her book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, there is a level of psychology and social responsibility when creating these worlds: “Game developers know better than anyone else how to inspire extreme effort and reward hard work. They know how to facilitate cooperation and collaboration at previously unimaginable scales. And they are continuously innovating new ways to motivate players to stick with harder challenges, for longer, and in much bigger groups. These crucial twenty-first-century skills can help all of us find new ways to make a deep and lasting impact on the world around us.”
Innovation is used so freely in our colloquial conversations that its resonance is lost. To innovate is not simply to create something new, it is to create something that adds, builds up, enriches and engages the current reality. Video games are on t-shirts, on commercials, in our childhood memories and in the palms of our hands. But, what is in a video game is a breathing entity of technology. Innovation and video games together have brought us to a new hemisphere of connectivity where, unlike social media, we are not just sharing experiences, we are making them.
It is safe to predict that the concept of “video games” will radically change in the coming decades. The ability that video games have to not only hallmark our growth in technology but to capture, cultivate and connect our universal imagination offers a truly endless realm of the once impossible. After all, isn’t coding all about creating something you could not see before?
To get a foot in on this amazing industry, you do not have to be in Silicon Valley or in the “golden gates” of Sony or Microsoft. You can get a taste of what it is like to be a game designer right here at Computational Thinkers. Learn the tools necessary to program with one of the most widely used engines, Unity, in our Unity Game Design & C# Scripting course. If you find yourself more interested in the feats of digital video game (and animation) artists, check out our
3D Modeling, with Blender or our Learn to Code + The Art of Game Design course. Or, perhaps, you are interested in just how our brains compare to artificial intelligence, like those used in gaming. You want to look beyond the code, to learn why and how we are able to work with technology in such complex ways, and in turn how technology works with us. In that case, our Intro to Artificial Intelligence is the place for you.
The future is what you make it. Computational Thinkers provides the means for you to do so.