About the Author

Kai CA Kai
Name: Jason Kai
Age: 23
Location: Mississauga, Ontario

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Over the past year, I have seen more and more touch screen monitors in stores. Basically there you use your finger as the cursor and there is an on-screen keyboard. With this you would think that it would get rid of the need for a mouse and keyboard right? Well if you think this, you are partially correct. The average user at home will no longer need to use a keyboard or mouse. It’ll give these users more table space. As for those in the business industry, the mouse may no longer be needed, but a keyboard will still be needed. It is faster to type with a keyboard in front of you especially when you are trying to search up information in a database than it is to push each letter on the on-screen keyboard. What about those who plays PC games though?

Well, the keyboard and mouse will never be replaced. In RTS, the mouse is useful for scrolling around the entire map (correct me if I’m wrong because I don’t play RTS much). In MMORPG, especially in a game like WoW, the mouse will help the user rotate the screen faster and the keyboard is needed for talents and macros (correct me if I’m wrong on this too because I never played arena in WoW). A keyboard and mouse is essential for FPS Games. In a game like Counter-Strike, people bind grenades to separate buttons and they also have buy binds to different keys. Also you need the keyboard to move around on the map (whether it’s W, S, A, D or the direction arrows). As for the mouse, it is used for aiming and for shooting. Sometimes grenades and jump are bound to the mouse. Other people, such as myself, bind the ventrilo hotkey to the mouse. By replacing the mouse and keyboard, you would basically be changing the way games will be played. In short, by removing the mouse and keyboard, you would be slowing the pace of gaming by a lot because you have to touch each button separately, no extra buttons on the mouse to bind things to, and no mouse wheel.

If a new system was introduced just for gaming, such as a virtual reality system, then I would say it would be fine to get rid of the mouse and keyboard. The perfect virtual reality system would allow the user to be a part of the game by theoretically transferring them into the “game world”, giving the user whatever item it needs depending on the game they are playing and then allowing the user to feel the environment around them. In a game where it involves buying items, it could be done two ways. To allow the user to think of the item they need and the item would appear in their hands or in their inventory. The other way it could be done is through something similar to what Dragon Ball Z had with the little spectacle (I think that’s what it’s called) that showed information. The user can then buy items from there. From there, if playing a game with a time limit, the remaining time and the amount of money you have left can be shown along with remaining health.

It will also be interesting to see how Windows 7 will change the way gaming is like. Most of these touchscreen monitors have been developed for Windows 7 when it is released later. No release date has been announced publicly, but I’ll take a guess from later to this year to sometime in 2011. It is still currently in beta which is available for download until February 10th (so get your beta copy if you haven’t already). I will personally be downloading a copy before that date (waiting until at least February 7th to download) and will be installing it on a computer that’s lying around in the basement. Let’s just hope Microsoft doesn’t release different versions like it did with vista (Ultimate, Business, Home, Home Premium) and that they keep it to one version or at least one price if they do release separate versions.

With that I leave you with your thoughts on what the future of gaming looks like and a quote.

“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” (Niels Bohr)

- Kai

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