In the Future, Videogames Will Play You

Future of Gaming Panel - July 20, 2010 - 92Y Tribeca

What will videogames look like in thirty years? How will we interact with them? When we look back at 2010 in the year 2040, what will we think of the games that people play today? Will videogames ever achieve cultural acceptance and importance on the level of other established art forms? All of these questions and more were answered with unfailing certainty last night at the New York Gaming Meetup’s “Future of Gaming” panel discussion, organized in conjunction with the Y+30 group at the 92Y Tribeca in New York City.

New York Gaming Meetup founder, Brad Hargreaves, moderated a panel discussion between Ben Feder, CEO, Take Two Interactive, Stephen Totilo, deputy editor at, and Eric Zimmerman, CEO and Co-founder of Gamelab. Together this panel brought a variety of perspectives from the business, journalism, and creative points of view.

During a lively hour of discourse the audience of nearly 200 industry professionals and curious alike sat and listened to the panel hypothesize about what videogames will be like in thirty years.

Stephen Totilo pointed out that our lexicon for describing movies has evolved over the years, from “moving pictures” to “cinema” to “films” and now “movies”, and that we should expect a similar evolution of the terminology used to describe interactive entertainment. What we currently refer to as videogames may not be known by the same descriptor in thirty years. Stephen, who also proclaimed he “hates old games,” wondered if the games we cherish today will still be revered in thirty years the way that certain classic games like Pac-Man persist nearly thirty years after their advent.

Ben Feder interestingly noted how games have evolved symbiotically over time with input devices and that we should continue to see this relationship develop. New input devices for game consoles breed new types of games, and new technology continues to allow for more advanced and sensitive input devices which will evolve in conjunction with the games that complement them.

Eric Zimmerman pondered how truly meaningful and lasting games, such as chess or poker, have persisted for so long because of their ability to transcend a delimited play experience and create entire cultures of play and devotion around them. He suggested that the games of the future may not follow the current technology curve of continuing to strive towards cinematic realism, but instead trend backwards towards the game types that never grow old. Eric also predicted that the next century will be a “ludic century” as aspects of play and games enter into our daily lives in increasingly subtle ways.

One thing the panelists seemed to agree on was that our predictions for the future of gaming are best informed by examining the history of the medium thus far.

To view the entire panel discussion courtesy of Livestream, click here.

Next week the NY Gaming Meetup will return to its usual format of selected demos from local tech companies on July 28th. To RSVP, visit us here.

TriplePoint and are sponsors of the New York Gaming Meetup

Stephen Totilo and Eric Zimmerman
Brad Hargreaves and Ben Feder