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Finding Fun at the Edge of the Sci Fi Universe

Scified2018-02-28 11:02:33http://www.scified.com/articles/finding-fun-at-edge-the-sci-fi-universe-81.jpg
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Finding Fun at the Edge of the Sci Fi Universe


"Space invader" (CC BY 2.0) by col&tasha

If you board a spaceship bound for the edge of the sci-fi universe, you’ll quickly discover that there are whole words of entertainment beyond the comics and movies available on earth. Indeed, with sci-fi now more popular as ever, there are plenty of ways you can lose yourself in an alternate reality without reading or watching. Perhaps the most interesting sci-fi innovations over the latest few decades have come from the gaming world. From the obvious to the not so obvious, sci-fi games have brought a new and entertaining dimension to the genre.

An Enemy from Above Entertains the Masses

Starting at the very beginning, retro video games such as Space Invaders offered our first glimpse into space. Released in 1978, Tomohiro Nishikado’s creation was an instant arcade hit that soon made it into player’s homes via the Atari. While it’s undeniable Space Invaders took off because it was one of the first arcade games ever made, it also had an element of escapism. Space often conjures up ideas of faraway worlds and exotic aliens, both of which add an extra element of interest. Indeed, even though Space Invaders is extremely basic in terms of gameplay by today’s standards, players still enjoy it thanks to its outer space vibe.

Taking Sci-Fi into a New Direction

Moving forward towards the present day, we can also see examples of the sci-fi genre in the casino gaming world. If you check out this article over here, you’ll see that online slots have taken more than a little inspiration from the sci-fi industry. Unlike the original slots developed by Charles Fey, today’s video slots have payout ratio’s touching 98%, multiple reels and paylines as well as an overarching storyline. This final point is the most important in some respects because it’s the way in which developers make their products stand out. Indeed, over the last decade, everything from Star Trek and Transformers to unique slot creations like Starburst have all taken something from the sci-fi genre. Whether it’s in-game characters, animations or themed features, sci-fi has basically been used to give slots another level of popular appeal.

Total Gaming Immersion

Finally, if we accept the basic premise of sci-fi books and movies is to escape reality, then virtual reality is obviously the best gaming medium to achieve that goal. By slipping on a VR mask such as Oculus Rift or HTC Vive players feel as though they’re stepping into a different part of the universe. This fact hasn’t been lost on the game designers of this world as there are plenty of sci-fi offerings making a splash in 2018. On a slightly superficial level, you’ve got rhythm games like Beat Saber. Although a set of drumsticks has basically been substituted for a light saber, the fact you can explore different worlds while hammering out some beats is fun. For something a little more technical, Star Child is your ticket to an alien world. Part adventure, part interactive role-playing game, Star Child sees you make friends with certain creatures and battle others.

Overall, when you take a step back and look at the sci-fi industry as a whole, you start to realize that books and movies are the tip of the iceberg. Games have certainly provided another entertainment outlet for fans over the years and, as technology improves, this only looks set to continue. Indeed, from basic arcade games through to today’s virtual reality experiences, it’s certainly worth boarding a ship bound for the edge of the universe where entertainment is about more than movies and books.

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