Happy New Year! Every year, news outlets, websites, and TV specials commemorate the previous year and make predictions for the next. In honor of this timeless tradition, I will highlight some that I have seen in my first post of the new year.
Kotaku's 2007 predictions and choice 2006 moments were turned over to readers to decide. Resoundingly the Wii was posited to be the surprise of 2006, and price drops on xBox 360s, PS3s and Wiis in the New Year one of the predictions. Many were looking forward to Wii developments, such as a colorful version, connectivity, and more games. I was tickled by chibihobo's comment, "i think 2007 will be a big year simply because people will not be buying old generation hardware anymore". We got a Sega Dreamcast over xmas...
Terra Nova predicts Second Life backlash and takes bets on 13 possible media stances over 2007, with #13 being that the outside bet that the persistent virtual environment turns out to be as wonderful as originally imagined. I see #6, #8, #10, and #11 as most likely, just based on historical evidence of media and popular reactions to other media.
Joystiq and Gamespot chose Gears of War as game of 2006, despite EA's report that Madden NFL 07 was the best-selling game of the year and that many other random reviewers cited The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Whatever, comparing shooters and action games goes against my beliefs in genre-specific analyses. Check out X-Play best of list here.
My predictions? Video game studies is fueling up to be even more dynamic in 2007. Just before the ball dropped Game Studies published a new (and long-awaited) issue and receiver magazine released a special issue on gaming and playing. Games and Culture journal released a call for papers for a special edition on Asia-Pacific Game Studies that emphasizes the importance of local studies of game play using the example of Korea's public play and Japan's private gaming. DiGRA 2007 hits Tokyo this September, students and profs alike have a backlog of books from 2006 to catch up on, and all signs point to a hot year for video game studies. I can hardly wait!
On a personal level, I finally got my own copy of World of Warcraft so I can guild and make as many characters as I like without pestering my brother for time on his account.
Do you have any crystal ball insights for the upcoming 363 days?