Tomorrow’s hardcore high spending gamer is nine years old today and wouldn’t dream of playing games in a darkened bedroom. Kinect, Move and the Wiimote ensure that you need a big open plan space with chairs moved back against the wall and preferably a crowd invited round, with drinks and biscuits on tap.
Outside the house they will zoom round the playground trading gameplay cards and vouchers – but for a very limited length of time. This month’s so-wicked is next month’s so-over-that. Last summer’s penguins, last September’s Moshlings … all neglected, starving, and completely forgotten.
Only Skylanders will do at the moment, though for how long? Skylanders apart, their platform of choice is the iPad and only partly because they can get the run of the App Store with lots of cool stuff for free. A lot of it has to do with the iPad’s ergonomics – the touch-screen interface makes for instinctive gameplay, there’s no hanging around waiting for operating systems to load, and the screen is just the right size for smaller hands to hold and carry around.
Learning curves are for losers. Instantly accessible, fast-moving and intensely social … that’s what tomorrow’s gamers will be expecting.