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First off, let it be noticed that net TVs were not created for the video game industry. We have consoles plugged to our conventional TVs for that. For now, net TV content is meager, with widgets and TV-optimized webpages delivering the bulk of information. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are the stars of this newfangled medium... But not for long. Every new platform starts off by trying to adapt existing content and ends up creating a whole new concept of content. This is what happens when we change the medium that supports content. Paper supports type and images, TV also supports type and images, but since these can be displayed through time, unique content is created. I believe TV apps have the potential to bring about interesting new content that is fundamentally different from what we are getting from a waning web.
I digress... The point of this post is to find out ways in which net TVs will change current games. Let's consider then what is unique to TV and the internet, and how merging the two will create a gestalt, something bigger than the sum of it's parts.
These factors (content source, production and interaction) will allow for unique gameplay experiences. I will create an hypothetical game, one that will take advantage of the new possibilities net TVs offer us, hoping this will illustrate the potential for this tech:
TVGame is a RTS (real time strategy) game where users create armies and conquer opponents (think Command & Conquer or StarCraft). Players form an army by gathering around a TV displaying maps, units, stats, etc (controlled by a remote control) and are able to control individual units (soldiers, vehicles) using their cellphones, which display the viewpoint of said units. This group of players can then lead an attack on another group comprised of individuals seating in front of another TV anywhere in the world.
What we see here is people playing games as a group, sharing a common screen (TV) while using individual screens (phones) to enhance and personalize the interaction. This is made possible by synching the content being sent to the TV to the one on the phone. This mediating screen (TV) allows for an added viewpoint for video games, one that is shared by users, thus providing for a new type of interaction. This as sort of been seen before, only now net TVs allow us to widespread the concept and create unique games that can be played by everyone, anywhere. Now let's throw in laptops to the mixture and soon enough the living room will become a very crowded place. We will want to gather in a bar with a dedicated net TV, and before we know it we will be bar crawling, playing some treasure hunt game sponsored by a beverage company (more on this on a future post).
By bringing social presence to video games, net TVs will change the way we play and interact with each other, allowing for a plethora of new content services to be developed. This change is similar to what the Nintendo Wii did to video games, it showed that more than eye candy, users want new ways to play video games.