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Do video games contribute to scientific progress?

4 episodes
  • 1
    Video games and research: a two-way relationship?
  • 2
    Metaverse: a huge potential audience of virtual worlds
  • 3
    How playing video games improves AI
  • 4
    Blockchain and video games: a happy marriage?
Épisode 1/4
Jean Zeid, Journalist
On October 6th, 2021
4 mins reading time
Raphaël Granier de Cassagnac
Raphaël Granier de Cassagnac
CNRS researcher in particle physics, holder of the "Science and Video Games" chair at École Polytechnique, and writer

Key takeaways

  • With over $100bn annual revenue, video games have the biggest audience in terms of entertainment on the planet.
  • Science and video games have always had an unbreakable bond, both being based on experience and technology.
  • Both make use of innovative technologies: virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), network technology, artificial intelligence (AI), computer graphics, 3D modelling and more.
  • Video game development has driven technological advances in graphics computing and, to a lesser extent, artificial intelligence.
  • Conversely, for Raphaël Granier de Cassagnac, scientific research such as cognitive science can provide inspiration for game experiences.
Épisode 2/4
Jean Zeid, Journalist
On October 6th, 2021
4 mins reading time
Julien Pillot
Julien Pillot
lecturer at Inseec and Associate researcher at CNRS

Key takeaways

  • Connected with gaming, there is a social universe that exists alongside it, with over 350 million registered accounts in 2020.
  • In this 100% digital universe, companies or third-party brands can create their own add-on modules anchored in the real world – an Ariana Grande concert brought in 78 million viewers.
  • Nevertheless, today the metaverse is more of a vision than a reality because the ‘real’ metaverse would require a virtual reality headset with capabilities for sensory and immersion.
  • As such, it would have a parallel economy as well as a form of societal organisation and other institutions.
  • Hence its growing popularity, supported by the media and economic power of its biggest ambassadors, led by Facebook, Microsoft and Tencent.
Épisode 3/4
Jean Zeid, Journalist
On October 6th, 2021
3 mins reading time
Axel Buendia
Axel Buendia
Professor at Cnam, Chair of Interactive Digital Media and Director of Cnam-Enjmin

Key takeaways

  • Certain developments in AI have been made only because of the new opportunities offered by video games.
  • Video game AI must be able to create a brief illusion in the environment of the player to improve the immersive experience, including behaviour of ‘non-playing’ characters’.
  • Secondly it should be used to surprise the player with capacities such as very realistic dialogue capabilities or emotional AI, meaning many games are based on increasingly complex AIs.
  • Third, companies use AI to analyse gameplay, using adaptive AI or statistical learning to collect data and improve game features; something which has become easier with more games being played online.
  • Nonetheless, AI is still a secondary artefact, second only to the visuals, which are still the main selling point.
Épisode 4/4
Jean Zeid, Journalist
On October 6th, 2021
4 mins reading time
Unknown
Nicolas Pouard
Blockchain Initiative Director at Ubisoft Strategic Innovation Lab

Key takeaways

  • Studios and publishers such as Ubisoft, through its Strategic Innovation Lab, are now looking the market of non-fungible tokens in the world of video games.
  • To anticipate the future of the video game industry and help prepare for it, Ubisoft created a foresight team to analyse future trends and weak signals – for the past four years, they have been working on blockchain.
  • The arrival of the blockchain, Ethereum, was called a revolution for many industries including video games.
  • It could mean increased user control over game objects in the form of NFTs; exchangeable digital assets issued on a blockchain, which would become property of the player not the publisher.
  • First, however, developers must demonstrate the reliability of the NFT and the benefits for the players.

Contributors

Jean Zeid

Jean Zeid

Journalist

Journalist and radio host, notably on franceinfo, Jean Zeid is author or co-author of essays such as "Art and video games" or "Cyberpunk History(s) of an imminent future”. A philosophy graduate and former columnist, Jean Zeid also curated the "GAME" exhibition in 2017 at the EDF Foundation in Paris and "Design-moi un jeu vidéo" at the Cité du Design in Saint-Étienne in 2019. He is currently preparing a new public event around famous video game mascots made in France.