It's hard to remember a time before gaming was ubiquitous, but it was there. The console market was just getting started, and about the only place you could reliably find video games
were at arcades that may have been miles away from your house. The idea that we're in a golden age of gaming is the stuff that could fuel a hundred arguments, but it's hard to deny that, at the very least, gaming is enjoying widespread popularity. The DICE Summit is already talking up such a phenomenon, to the point where the organizers are using the idea of a "golden age of gaming" as a theme for the 2014 conference.
So is it a "golden age of gaming" or not? It's easy to see why some believe such to be the case. There have never been so many games to play on so many different devices. Consider the rise of smaller Android consoles like the Ouya, or the rise of the mobile device and the accompanying mobile gaming concept. There are people out there carrying a library of games in a device that fits in a standard pants pocket.
PC gaming has only gotten better; there are the deeply complex full-on PC games. There are the simple browser games. The library of gaming has only gotten bigger and more accessible with services like Steam and Good Old Games, among a host of others that are bringing games not only new, but old alike.
The console market...well...that's self-explanatory. There are more console makers in the market than ever, and they're bringing out more games than have been seen in recent memory. Sony, Microsoft, and long-time console warrior Nintendo are all in play, and while triple-A games are the standard bearers as ever, the indie console market is for perhaps the first time truly making its presence felt.
All of this together is adding up to make a pretty strong case for a golden age of gaming, and this is a sentiment echoed by the president of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences
Martin Rae, who said that this was indeed a golden age because "great products are going to grow up around the great new audience of people who are picking up gaming for the first time. Even the people in turmoil are going to benefit from targeting these new markets. They will have a whole new generation of game players, and that's why we have this theme."
While it's hard to imagine a golden age of anything showing up in an economic environment that's still as weak as the one we currently face, there's just no denying that there are more new developments showing up than ever before. We're actually getting to the point where virtual reality, in the home, is not just possible but likely thanks to things like the Oculus Rift
and the Virtuix Omni treadmill. More titles, more peripherals, and whole gaming possibilities that never existed before now all add up to suggest that, maybe, we really are in a golden age of gaming. It's going to be exciting to see just what comes out in the future, and to be there when it does.