As an owner of a Nintendo NES at age 5, video games have always been a constant in my life. From the original NES Mario/Dunk Hunt combo, Segaâ€™s sonic, to SNESâ€™s Final Fantasies, I owned a Sega Game Gear (still do in my closet somewhere), and even played original computer games (Sim City, Dune 2, Warcraft I, Civilization I, Kingâ€™s Quest). I remember N64 Golden Eye tournaments in High School, and our house wide, post-dinner 16 player Halo capture the flag wars. Even lately, when I need to blow some steam, Iâ€™ll be jamming out on â€œSweet Heart of Mineâ€ on Guitar Hero. Hence, when I heard MIT Sloan was running their own video game conference, I had to be a part of it.
It was held close by at the new Microsoft NERD (New England Research and Development) center, with over 400 attendees. The website to the conference is here, and a copy of the 2010 program is hereÂ [PDF].
Being a part of the conference team and seeing the conference go through, one interesting thought came to mind:
In many ways, I feel that the video game industry as grown with my direct generation. When our generation first started playing video games, we were just entering elementary school when Nintendo released their first console. They were very simple games, allowing us to play our imaginations. Later growing into middle school, SNES and Sega released their systems, and also paving way for more mature video games in-line with our generation. From Street Fighter, to Mortal Kombat, better graphics, and more realism. Later came the PS and N64, getting into more realism – augmented reality-ish, and also more community based. First person shooters were taking form (Golden Eye/Halo), and online gaming started to really gain traction. Then going into college, truly realistic games â€“ Grand Theft Auto and games requiring musical skill (Guitar Hero) came into creation. Now, as our generation as grown, many of my peers are getting married and having kids, systems just as the Nintendo Wii and Xboxâ€™s Kinect come out, taking a step back from â€œmatureâ€ realism but taking form into â€œfamily orientedâ€ games. It wil be interesting to see where video games go next, how will video games continue evolve as we continue to grow older, have grandkids, and retire?
Well, I for one am looking forward to old even more – it sounds like fun.