Video game technology will accelerate AI innovation

The gaming industry as a driver of innovation: How games are driving technological progress

Germans love gaming: almost every second person plays, regardless of age or gender. So it is not surprising that the games market was more than 2.8 million in the first half of 2019. This means that sales were up 11 percent compared to the previous year (Association of the German Games Industry).

The federal government also knows that the gaming industry is an important pillar of the German economy. For 2019, the Bundestag decided to release a total of 50 million euros from the federal budget to fund games. Because gaming can be much more than just fun. In fact, games are versatile development drivers for modern technologies.

Games should become more and more intense. Technology and games therefore have to mutually adapt. Processors, memory, audio devices, monitors and power supplies are particularly important factors for full functionality. New games are therefore drivers for technologies.

Computer games are also conquering the education sector. In the military and medical sector as well as in school education, simulations are gaining in importance as self-learning programs.

Games also offer valuable test platforms for artificial intelligence to test and promote complex thought processes.

How gaming technologies influence innovation

Games should be maximally tangible and even more intense. But to do this, games have to be constantly optimized for modern graphics hardware. But modern processors, memory, audio devices, monitors and power supplies are also important factors for the full function of increasingly complex games. In order to meet the standard set by the games industry, technology and games therefore have to mutually adapt. Users are also more or less forced to invest in new equipment. Because an innovative game with new effects is simply not fun on an outdated PC. The best example are virtual reality games: The games are meaningless without VR glasses. If you really want to immerse yourself in virtual reality, you have to invest as a user. New games are therefore drivers for technologies, but also create the need for modernizing your own equipment.

Simulations with real-time focus can do that

Gaming often requires technologies that are not yet available as a patented solution on the market. The best example is the development of the Microsoft Vista operating system. The development was only made possible by a corresponding hardware base, which was originally developed for games. Today it is the norm that CPU’s, the heart of the computer, are pushed to a level in gaming that a normal office computer does not (yet) need. However, gaming innovations are not only interesting for developers in the hardware area. The gaming industry is also a strong pioneer when it comes to visualization and simulation. Modern games often focus on graphical representations in real time focus. A model that has long since found great approval in the private sector. The reason for this is the wide range of options that such programs offer. Interactive visualizations, e.g. for architectural projects are particularly popular. Models can be changed quickly in small places and the conversion no longer requires a completely new model. This allows more creative freedom. Experiments are no longer a factor of uncertainty, but rather contribute to the profit of the projects. Products can be adapted more efficiently and flexibly, and work processes are accelerated. The gaming industry has given many work areas a powerful tool that is also a big plus in terms of costs. The film making industry benefits enormously from developments in the field of simulation. Before the actual manual work begins, sets can now be designed virtually. The revision succeeds with just a few clicks and set-ups are also possible in advance at low cost.

Serious games are conquering the education sector

“Computer and video games are a media image of the digital age, a cultural asset, an educational tool and a driver of innovation in equal measure,” says FDP General Secretary Nicola Beer. Simulations are already appearing as games in many places in child and adult education. Military and medical simulations are becoming increasingly important. These are used, for example, at the University of Münster in medical studies. The authentic representation of a virtual game world allows the player to immerse himself in the situation and thus enables an experience that is comparable to reality. The players can then fall back on the knowledge of the content learned in the game, such as dangerous situations or emergencies, in reality. Using the example of medical students, this means that they can practice decision-making situations and treatment methods in virtual space. But the technology is not only associated with many advantages for the training of specialized personnel. In the school education sector, too, simulations as self-learning programs could gain further importance in the future.

Gaming as a test platform for artificial intelligence

Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into the digitization of instruments or technologies is becoming increasingly popular. Machine learning in particular is increasingly becoming the focus of developers. At first glance, gaming and AI don't seem to really go together? You thought wrong, because games can serve as valuable test platforms to test and promote complex thought processes relating to AI. In order to make the technology optimally usable and to make it fit for the future, the games company Blue Byte and the Cologne Game Lab of the TH Köln have started a cooperative research project. The focus is on tests of the suitability of procedurally created game content and elements. For example, methods of automated generation are being researched. In the future, content is to be made more organic through machine learning and AI, and development processes are to be optimized. The project is funded by the European Union and funds from the CreateMedia.NRW program.

Gamescom: Vibrating platform for innovations

The government is showing increasing interest in innovations in the gaming sector and has recognized the potential for the German economy. This is also evident from the large delegation of political giants who attended the opening of Gamescom 2019. Federal Transport and Digital Minister Andreas Scheuer, Minister of State for Digitization Dorothee Bär, Dr. Joachim Stamp as Deputy Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Lord Mayor of Cologne Henriette Reker. With 373,000 visitors this year, Gamescom is the world's largest event for computer and video games. At the same time, the event serves as the largest European business platform for the games industry. And it continues to grow every year. In 2019, Gamescom recorded an increase of 10 percent with 1,153 exhibitors. At around 218.00 m², 8 percent more space was available than last year. Major topics at the fair were, for example, trends such as cloud and indie gaming, but tournaments in the new discipline e-sports also took place during the exhibition week. Computer games or a stand of Wirecard AG, here you will find everything about innovations in gaming, but also about business processes and much more. Not only passionate gamers get their money's worth here. Seeing what gaming technology already enables is what makes the event so charming for many visitors from other specialist areas. Around 70 percent were represented by international exhibitors. Because in many countries, gaming development has been state subsidized for many years. Games funding for smaller projects has been promised for Germany for autumn 2019, but there is still no firm integration into funding from the federal budget in Germany. So we can only hope that the federal government will recognize the potential of the gaming industry as a driver of innovation with increased financial resources. Because the fact that the developments in the gaming sector play a crucial role in digitization as we know it today and how we will experience it in the future cannot be dismissed out of hand.

 

Our team from Story & Story was at Gamescom 2019 to get up to date with the latest technology. Do you have any questions about the innovation driver of the gaming industry or about digitization processes in your company? We would be happy to advise you on the latest trends and technologies in web development and design. We make your company fit for the future.