Geeks in 2020: What’s Popular?
Geek culture is always evolving, with the influence of new trends and technologies helping to shape what people are passionate about.
2020 looks set to be another great year for geeks, so here are just a few of the pastimes that are going to gain traction in the next 12 months.
VR has made a mark on interactive entertainment in a major way over the past decade, but plenty of people have not bothered dabbling in it because all of the games and experiences on offer have seemed a little too gimmicky or simply too short. That is all set to change in 2020 when Valve unleashes Half-Life: Alyx.
It is no surprise that the mere announcement of the game’s release was enough to double sales of Valve’s own Index range of VR kit.
Hopes are high for Half-Life: Alyx, not least because it is set in the same universe as one of the most critically acclaimed game franchises of all time, but also because it looks like the developers have actually gone to great lengths to make the VR implementation within it as immersive and seamless as possible.
If Valve manages to live up to expectations, it might be able to finally bring VR into the mainstream and shake off the shackles of novelty status it is still limited by.
Live dealer casino games
Online gambling has been a hot hobby for years now, but it is only recently that operators like Casumo casino have started to offer real time experiences hosted by flesh-and-blood dealers that are streamed to players around the world.
This allows anyone to replicate the practice of playing at land-based casinos without having to leave the comfort of their own home. With games like blackjack, poker and roulette available with live dealers, there is something for everyone and this is a great alternative to the purely digital versions of these classic table games.
Playing board games has been a favourite pastime of geeks for eons, and 2020 will usher in a number of exciting new options to add to your collection and crack out to enjoy with friends.
One such game is Lander, a title which is set in space and lets players test their skills by managing resources, negotiating with competitors and taking over territory to gain the economic upper hand while constructing colonies on distant planets.
Another option arriving this year is Endangered, a board game which is especially prescient in light of the growing concerns around the environment which are holding sway over the headlines at the moment. This game requires teamwork rather than competition, and of course the aim is to save animals from extinction.
Whether you choose to take up broadcasting yourself, or more likely form one of the millions of audience members who watch their favourite pros on Twitch, the age of game streaming ubiquity is well and truly upon us.
What makes Twitch so compelling is that it caters to every kind of viewer, from those who are totally engrossed by Fortnite tournaments to those who would rather watch players grind through speedruns of obscure SNES games for the pleasure of a few hundred viewers.
Rival platforms may be poaching the top talent from Twitch, but it still seems like the broadness of the community on the world’s best known game streaming site will help to support it throughout 2020 and beyond.
Both Sony and Microsoft have confirmed details of the new gaming devices they will launch later in the year, promising more power under the hood to support cutting edge effects like real-time ray tracing while also keeping current customers happy with backwards-compatibility available from day 1.
Whether the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will manage to have as much of an impact as their predecessors is up for debate; there is no obvious killer app for either system on the horizon so far and it seems like the days of exclusives being a big selling point are over. Even so, there is no doubt that as 4K displays become more common, it makes sense to upgrade console hardware to ensure they can push enough pixels to keep pace.