Why No Man’s Sky is important to the Gaming & Entertainment industry
Every once in a while something disrupts a genre, industry or field that doesn’t initially get everybody onboard but makes a statement in the right direction. No Man’s Sky, the videogame from independent developers Hellogames is one such statement. Sure, its boring, repetitive, didn’t deliver on a lot of its promises and features and there were more bugs than one cares to remember, but boldly going where no gaming developer has gone before (pardon the pun) is no easy feat. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely frustrated and disliked the game after just 30 minutes of gameplay but it was also at that moment that I realized I had completely missed the point, and it hit me.
When the internet was first launched, no one thought it would disrupt communication, let alone the world. All people care about is belittling the inventions, downplaying the technology and complaining about how it doesn’t and should not, work. The same goes for the iPod and iPhone and more recently, Tesla and their electric cars. While a videogame is not going to change the world (not anytime soon anyway), the idea of an infinite /procedurally generated (literal) gaming universe that has no linear objective, storyline or mission is exactly the disruption the gaming industry needed. Why? Because, guess what? If you did want a first person shooter with immense multiplayer (Battlefield) or an adventure game with superior storytelling (Unchartered) or an eye popping, epic, button-mashing journey into the bowels of hell (God of War), they are all there for you. However, if you want to step outside the boundaries of what has been tried, tested and done a thousand times before, open your mind to the possibilities of what this could possibly prompt developers to do in the future. Imagine using this model with the exceptional gameplay and storytelling of ‘Mass Effect’ or developing a VR experience where nothing is pre-programmed and your movements and actions produce an infinite number of outcomes. On the complete other end of the spectrum, No Mans Sky can also be looked at as more of a rather calming, therapeutic visual experience than purely a game—the colours, ambience, isolation and drifting into space can be mesmerising—something that could potentially be used in all measure of medical facilities (if only there was a no-combat mode!).
All I’m saying is this : do not play this as a traditional videogame, view this as a small taste / glimpse into the next “phase” of interactive entertainment.