There is something captivating about watching people do things skilfully. That’s why fast workers videos on YouTube get millions of views.
And it is perhaps this universal human tendency that might enable Amazon to bring far more people on to their cloud gaming platform than just players. One of the Amazon’s patent published earlier this year hints at its focus on getting real audience in online games.
According to this patent, even if you are not playing, you would be able to join an ongoing game as a spectator. Now, spectator mode in itself is nothing new; it has been around for like, forever. The distinguishing factor here looks like spectators having their own avatars. Think about it this way:
The computer generated audience in a FIFA game, for example, could be replaced with avatars of real people sitting there, watching the game. So players would be able to see how many people are actually watching them play. If the number is high, it would certainly boost the morale of the actual players, won’t it?
In some games, however, such as for first person shooters, actual spectators in the game’s world could hinder the players. The patent accounts for this too. In some games, the spectators could remain invisible to the players and even to each other.
The spectator avatars will be bound by the physics of the game. Perhaps to make the experience more realistic. There would be exceptions, of course, for example, spectators would be able to instantaneously changing their locations, say from one side of a virtual stadium to another for a better view.
Another interesting idea in the patent is that the spectators can see and listen to each other — which, I think would certainly make it a more lively engagement than just sitting and watching the game. Who knows — this could turn cloud games into the next preferred places for hanging out in free time!
Certainly an exciting possibility. Fingers cross, though, that it does not lead to anything like the 2011 Black Mirror episode.
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