When is a game not a game? When it’s a TV show? When it’s a live music gig inside a massively multiplayer online game? What if it’s a launch of a new sustainable fashion line, a set of breathing exercises for kids with cystic fibrosis, or an app helping you keep fit by running with zombies? Are those even games?
The answer – arguably – is yes.
The videogames market has changed. The tools, technologies and techniques which were created and pioneered within the world of gaming are transforming the future of our creative world.
While the global games market reaches ever more people, and generates ever more revenue, gaming has also started to impact and influence a growing number of other sectors. As well as being a hugely successful content type in its own right, ‘interactive media’ is fundamentally changing the ways in which creative projects are being created, distributed, marketed, and monetised.
It can be argued that the engines designed to develop videogames are going to become – have become – the primary tools of creation for the rest of the creative industries. As well as powering virtual production for film, TV and animation, game engines are being used to model sets for theatre and plan rehearsals for dance troops, they are being used for fashion shoots, and are the channel for marketing organisations to reach and engage with a young, high-spending audience who don’t engage with other media.
Videogaming and games culture are changing in ever more complex and unexpected ways. The ongoing evolution of hardware and digital technology is opening up new markets, accessing new audiences and creating wholly new experiences. For a sector that has been historically a little isolated from the wider creative world, it is exhilarating – and a little terrifying.
We know the future is going to be converged. We can also predict that this convergence is unlikely to be simple. The scale and complexity of the games sector alone is already huge, encompassing enormous multi-million dollar Triple-A games, and vast massively multiplayer worlds, as well as equally successful smaller, simpler, hypercasual, social, mobile and indie games.
Likewise, the screen industries, sports, marketing, music, fashion, and other sectors all have huge global presence, as well as their own sub-sectors, audiences, business models, best practice and even language. Digital and interactive technology may be the underlying infrastructure, but bringing such eclectic and established industries together is going to be challenging.
Every sector has a tendency to be insular. Delivering complex, creative projects is hard enough without looking over your shoulder to see what the games, or the fashion, industries are doing. But there’s a huge amount we can learn from each other.
Finding the Future
Each field has its own pioneers, who are reimagining, remixing and disrupting their own area. They’re using technology in new and unexpected ways, they’re learning from peers and colleagues in other industries and building something new.
This is where Beyond Games lives. We’re building an event and online channel which will bring together the artists, the innovators, the creators, the business leaders and those who are pushing back the boundaries of our new converged future.
It’s a space where you can find the ways in which our world is changing. Where you can meet the people who are building the technology and those who are using it to innovate. It’s a channel where you can explore the boundaries of your own practice, and find the inspiration for your next project, or a new opportunity for your business.
From mapping the metaverse to transformative transmedia, Beyond Games aims to be a catalyst for change and an active agent in the ongoing evolution of our digital future.
Brian Baglow – Managing Editor, Beyond Games.