It is every so often that technology advances to a point in time where a major implication develops that allows a dramatic step in video gaming. Be it the technology that came along for the development of the first ever video game, to the first ever console, the magnavox-odyssey, and much more. With all these improvements in the past, it is safe to say that it won’t be long before some technology comes along and changes the landscape of the current video game makeup. With that in mind, we will look at a technology that is quickly becoming a more mainstream technology that could lead to vast improvements in gaming, quantum computing.
It was just a few days ago I wrote an overview of quantum computers and programming, so I won’t get into the backgrounds behind what quantum computers are (read here) but instead we will look at the effects quantum computers may have on the gaming world whenever it inevitably molds itself into the gaming fabric. Before we start I will state that with how unknown and new quantum computers are and the fact that very little research has gone into gaming within quantum programming, that most of what we will be talking about will be based on the theory of how they will affect gaming rather than cold hard facts.
At the end of the year 2015, Google and NASA teamed up to create the world’s fastest quantum computer, the D-Wave 2X. At the time Google reported that it was a computer 100million times faster than any PC that existed. With that kind of ability, even if their claim stood to be only a fraction of the truth, it does not take much of an imagination to fantasize about what that could mean for video games. From the ability to process the most complex problems of the world, to the unending possibilities it would mean for artificial intelligence, to the vast improvements in physics engines, leads one to the realization that there is a near never ending possibilities to explore as quantum computers relate to gaming.
Gameranx did a video on this subject which gives a more scientific look at the implications that quantum computers could have on gaming that I suggest checking out. One of the statements that stood out to me the first time I watched it was something along the lines of, “though it won’t change things significantly, it will do a lot of good things.” The first time I watched it was right around when I had first ever heard about quantum computing and this statement stuck with me for awhile and not because I agreed with it, but because I disagreed with it more so. What I mean by this, is that I do agree with the fact that what we know of quantum computers currently, that if we base it off of that knowledge alone, then yes I agree that it most likely won’t change anything dramatically but will just improve on what we currently have available. However, what bothered me and led me to disagree, is the fact that quantum computing and quantum mechanics is still very much an unknown for us and we have just barely begun figuring out what the implications hold on what these computers will be able to do as we continue to learn more and more. This is what led me to believe the fact that quantum computing, will in fact, drastically change the gaming world. Later on, the video actually does backtrack some, and also come to this conclusion on their own when they state that, “sometimes the most important stuff, isn’t the flashiest, and when developers and hardware makers finally figure this out, we are going to be shocked with the results.” Just as most technologies that have changed the technological landscape have begun with a vision to exceed the current scope of technology rather than be confined within them, I believe this unknown element that quantum computing will lead us into will far exceed what we currently understand as being reasonable to expect.
Yes, quantum gaming is still a long ways a way in the future, but the implications of what it will mean for the gaming industry has already begun and as more and more people begin devoting time and effort into learning about what all quantum computers can and will do, it won’t take long for things not yet thought of to be discovered. Quantum computers are on their way to revolutionizing modern technology and vastly improving technology in almost every area there is. This should leave many gamers imagining all the areas of gaming that will be improved upon in order to bring about an even better end experience for the user.
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