You may have heard about the democratisation of technology and wondered what it could mean for the future of gaming and entertainment. The term means that more people than ever have access to technology and this in turn leads to more rapid developments and innovations within the industry. We are living in an age in which people don’t have to be experts to create their own offerings on certain platforms, and amateur developers are able to get rich from producing their own products. There is no doubt that this democratisation is a good thing for the future, as it will help all areas of the entertainment industry move forward at a faster rate than before. Here we look at this democratisation in more detail and think about what it could lead to in the future.
What is the Democratisation of Technology?
In the past, patents dominated the technology industry and it was hard for anyone to replicate someone else’s work without being sued. Developers would create an innovative piece of technology and then put a patent on it so that nobody could make exactly the same thing. In these cases, things had to be slightly altered and it made overall progress slow.
Times are changing, though, and now ideas are being shared more frequently in an effort to help push technology forward at a faster rate. In a major shift, technology isn’t just available to big corporations and developers nowadays. In fact, consumers are able to gain more access to high-tech equipment and buy sophisticated technological products. In addition to this, these people can participate in the development of products and help push technology further. This means many more people today are working on helping technology progress than there were before, and this is obviously speeding up the overall process.
When thinking about the democratisation of technology, scholars often compare it to when the printing press led to information being brought to the masses in a much broader way. After the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the early 1400s, it was possible to get information to more people and the machine had a major social impact. The internet is the modern-day equivalent of this, and has had the same effect but on a much larger scale. Now people from all over the world can instantly communicate with each other and share ideas in a matter of minutes.
The internet hasn’t always been this open to the public, however. It was actually invented in 1969 and was initially used as a method of communication between scientists and within the government. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the innovation became available to everyone on the planet. In 1993, the US government made the internet available for commerce, and the conception of HTML at this time meant that accessibility was universal and anyone could create online content. Ever since that time, the internet has got faster and better at an impressive rate. Now, the platform has made it possible for ideas to be shared easily. It is the main reason why we are currently seeing the democratisation of technology.
How Can Democratisation be Achieved?
While the world is doubtlessly moving towards a state where there is complete democratisation of technology, this hasn’t quite been achieved yet. There is still a way to go for people all over the world to have access to the same technology. So how can full democratisation be achieved?
One of the ways is to try to reduce the number of developers disparaging new platforms and claiming that they can never replace the traditional methods of old. These people want to steer amateurs away from creating their own things with affordable technology, and instead have them pay the companies huge amounts of money to do it for them. The key for developers with this mindset is teaching them that they need to adapt to this shift in the way technology is used. They could also use new technological advancements to make their own jobs easier, rather than stand in the way of innovations.
The popularity of smartphones, entertainment apps, and casual games could serve as a catalyst for the democratisation of technology as more and more people realise how easy it is to create content in this genre. These games, which are often based on things in other areas of popular culture can also serve to attract more players and get a greater number of people interested in the world of gaming. For instance, at Wink Slots there are online slot games based on popular characters like Dr Jekyll and the Invisible Man, and fans of these fictional icons may seek games in order to experience them on another level. This is why mobile games are also frequently based on things that are popular in other media. There are games based on hugely popular films like Tomb Raider and Jurassic World, and people who enjoyed these films are going to be interested in playing games about them.
Mobile games are fairly easy for amateur developers to make, which is why there are so many more companies coming about in the industry. The start of the hugely successful Roveo Entertainment is a prime example of this. The software company which came up with the record-breaking Angry Birds app was started by some Finnish students from the Helsinki University of Technology. Niklas Hed, Jarno Vakevainen, and Kim Dikert started out by winning a mobile game development competition at the Assembly demoparty and this led to the three youngsters setting up their own company. Angry Birds games have now had over 2 billion downloads across all platforms, and the titles have made the Finnish developers exceedingly rich. Stories like this are helping to inspire others to do the same, and highlighting how the democratisation of technology has made previously difficult things possible.
What Can it Lead to?
The exciting thing about the democratisation of technology is the fact that it can lead to much faster development in the industry. Advancements which had previously taken years can occur in a much shorter space of time. As the story of the team behind Roveo shows, there will definitely be a rise in programmers as more people have access to the tools necessary to create simple games. These budding developers may then take the knowledge and skills learnt from that and go on to make more advanced titles.
The democratisation of technology has the power to change people’s lives, as it opens up a whole host of new opportunities and possibilities. It gives people new ways to make money through development, advertise and promote businesses, and invent new things. The people of today are so lucky to have access to all these things, and dreams that were previously impossible are now achievable.
It is certainly an exciting time to be alive, as we are now witnessing technological progress at its fastest ever rate. There is no limit to what can be achieved through the democratisation of technology, and there is no doubt that the industry is going to continue to develop at a lightning pace from now on.