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Tronyn's 20 Year Prediction Challenge
Tronyn asks:

But I do say this: what do you, and anyone else who is reading: actually EXPECT in the next twenty years. What do you really expect.
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Fric will release his Doom3 map with a custom drum'n'bass soundtrack.






Fuck me I am on top comedy form this morning. 
Everything Will Be 
Largely the same with slight differences. 
Expect From What? 
The games industry? Impossible to project that far off. More polygons probably. Can't get enough of those polygons. Actually in ten years everything will be mostly the same as everything else, last three hours tops, rely on micro-transactions to nickle-and-dime at least 50% of the game content, use the latest shitty gimmick mo-cap controller du jour, and probably be rendered with some sort of sparse voxel octree shezzizligans to give arbitrary detail on every surface and working as a rank-and-file in the industry will be even more like being in some soulless impersonal sweatshop than it is now. And the functionality of every electronic device will be buried under a mountain of indie and pretend-indie games that will all be mostly the same as each other and will all cost 10p.

Actually all this is happening now. Trolololled! 
20 Years!? 
I think the first world will be plunged into financial turmoil, leading to WW3 in the next 5 years. After 80% of the world's population dies in the war, nobody will have a computer powerful enough to run anything before Quake, and we (those of us who survive by turning our mapping skills to bunker design) will therefore be ahead of the curve because of our 20 years of mapping experience. Quake will be the only played game, and will become a new religion.

The world that is rebuilt in place of the one we have no will be brown... not post apocalyptic brown, but Quake palette brown. Man will develop 16-bit filters for natural light so that we get strange artifacts and banding even in the real world.

Just kidding!

I was kind of half serious about the WW3 prediction though :/ 
Oh 
and we'll all be back to 600 r_speed maps only, because our computers will be too shit and starved of energy to run anything more. 
Than 
Apart from the WW3, I think you are wrong... though... cause after the WW3, with all the nuclear weapons around, nobody will survive... hence nobody willplay Quake or any other games...
... and I can tell you WW4 will be done with stones and pieces of wood, like monkeys :( 
Than 
that sounds like heaven. Brown heaven. Bring on the nukes. Not only will we be the master architects, but we will be the leaders and generals of the new humanity because our years of experience playing FPS's will have taught us how to deal with the roaming hordes of mutant hellions that stalk the radiation-scorched overworld. 
I Think, 
the financial crisis will bring about a new age of enlightenment where people consider the world in terms of real value rather than monetary value. This will lead to the downfall of giant multinational companies which will initially have a negative effect on international communications networks and privatised education and healthcare but after a few years of turmoil people will voluntarily pool their own resources in to socialist ventures to replace them. When international communications networks are reestablished through good old fashioned hard graft we will be so pleased with our brave new world that we choose to share our skills and knowledge with each other without contractual agreements and debts. Occasionally a capitalist scumbag will try to act in their own interests but they will be unsuccessful due to a lack of competition. And we'll all eat Love flavoured moon bubbles for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Someone's got to take a positive stance, right? 
 
It will finally dawn on those in power that exponential growth forever on a finite planet is impossible.

The USA population will elect nutters who promise to maintain their four thousand mile Caesar Salad despite that being impossible.

John Romero will create a Kickstart page for Daikatana 2. 
Text Fish 
The socialist calculation debate has been over for quite a few years. Maybe you should read up on it. 
Jt_ 
I'm well aware of the difficulties traditional socialst ideas present, but capitalism has hardly proven to be perfect either so perhaps it's time to reopen the debate -- afterall, a new generation might be able to bring some entirely new ideas to the table. 
 
World politics: same shit business as usual.

Games: Valve will finally announce Episode 3, saying it's going be done "soon". Shambler will be the only person left mapping for Quake. RMQ will have switched engines several times and is now waiting for dark matter-powered hardware to be developed which can hopefully run the maps. CoD 25 will be so realistic, governments will use it to fight wars in instead. Penny Arcade will still suck. 
 
In twenty years people will still believe the soviet union was socialist :p 
Text Fish 
Maybe we should revisit the idea that the world is flat, our that 1+1=3? A new generation might be able to bring some new ideas about those topics too? Socialism isn't feasible because of the so called "real value" of goods (which is just the labor theory of value under a new name). Only under a system that embraces the subjective theory of value has a society flourished and increased the standard for everyone, not just the people who call themselves the State like under socialism.

Swyped on my phone. 
Hive Brains 
Trend: An ever more socially interactive world.
Today: Wikipedia, Facebook, Message boards
Tomorrow: Interoperating human knowledge machinery of scale.
Results: Advances in complex sciences that can be modeled: physics, human genome project.
Possibly: Open source of scale displaces commercial software in non-government/non-business oriented software (areas that not pure knowledge based, but oriented around human rules).

Trend: More sophisticated government.
Today: "No questions" asked government benefits.
Tomorrow: Puppet strings. Certain behaviors or signs of problems attract government attention and government help that cannot be easily refused.

Unexpected event #1: Someone uses a nuke somewhere or a large scale nuclear accident happens in Middle East, India, Pakistan or Russia causing world-wide cultural changes and call for a world government.

Unexpected event #2: Western governments shift to a semi-unlimited currency policy. Money becomes valueless, except you must pay your taxes with it therefore it isn't. Governments are no longer constrained by budgets, but rather physical resources available. Some form of imperfect full-employee is achieved as a result.

Unexpected event #3: New fossil of human ancestor is found somewhere in Africa. The fossil is of a species that is not indigenous to the world eco-system. 
Someone 
will invent a longer lasting lightbulb.

The world hopes they do, anyway. 
Stereoscopic Cameras Become The Norm 
Snap a pic from your phone and an algorithm can turn it into a 3D model on the fly. 
Jt_ 
When did anyone argue that 1+1=3?

Anyway, the "real value" of something doesn't necessarily have to refer to the total value of its composite parts and labour. Instead you could come up with a set of criteria that all products need to be judged against and introduce margin guidelines for companies, which if they choose to cross then they have to contribute a much greater amount of tax to the government which then gets put back in to social ventures.

Ultimately both capitalism and socialism will only ever work if the people in charge are basically good, competent people, but at least in a socialist society the people in charge have been elected. 
Daz... 
you watched this recently?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzM84IzXCnw&feature=related

Maybe in the future, planned obsolescence will be made illegal and people will stop buying new things because their old ones do the job. This will causes technological progress to gradually slow down and the human race will fail to escape planet Earth before the dying Sun burns the shit out of everything on it (not looking at the next 20 years for that one!). However, someone will have sent a pc, copy of Quake and some mapping tools into space, whereupon it is found by a super intelligent lifeform who worship it, even though it is made with technology vastly inferior to their own. They eventually create a remake of Quake that is 100% faithful in spirit, but using technology that we cannot even begin to imagine.

Through their worship of Quake, the alien race decide that the creatures that created it can't have been all that bad and journey to our galaxy to search for any remainders of our DNA that they can use to rebuild us.

Long story short - Earth burns, aliens find and worship Quake, remake Quake super awesome then finally bring back humanity from extinction. Everything is still brown. 
Oh Man 
some of these answers are so wild it's hard to tell who's joking and who's not, though I assume many of them are joking.

Last 10 years have seen a huge revolution in polycount in 3d engines / games, and a huge revolution in communications tech. Last 30 have seen, at least in North America, a huge revolution in political corruption, getting worse by the year, but it also seems like at least some growing awareness of that.

What I'm mostly interested in is the future of science/technology (ie how immersive/VR will games be, how will communications tech affect the world, and what weapons on the one hand or medical tech on the other will be invented), along with politics.

As a pessimist I frankly suspect that there's a decent chance we just might be all fucked. On the other hand, that doesn't preclude RMQ coming out, and an id sequel to Q1 which is also awesome coming out ;) 
Than 
seek help ;) 
Tronyn 
"and a huge revolution in communications tech. Last 30 have seen, at least in North America, a huge revolution in political corruption"

Yeah, I keep reading stories like this:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/feb/19/science-scepticism-usdomesticpolicy
http://news.slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=story&sid=12/02/15/1515208

It really does seem sometimes that they want an unintelligent electorate that they can feed with lies and easily control. You feel like a conspiracy nut for believing this kind of idea, but there is so much evidence that suggests it's true. I'm not saying the government wants dumb people that don't care about the big issues and won't oppose them (maybe they do too), but I really think that corporations do, and it is absolutely hideous that these slimy fuckers have corrupted the political system just so their board members can buy new yachts. Why lobbying is allowed at all is something I can't quite understand. It's the same with donations for election campaigns. I heard Obama has raised 1bn dollars for his 2012 campaign... 1 fucking billion dollars that will mostly be spent on adverts. When you have massive national debt and millions of homeless? Great use of money there. I guess it's because they all know that the national debt is phoney and paying any of it off is pointless. And the poor and homeless? Fuck them. They had their chances and blew it all. If they didn't become rich and successful, it's because they didn't work hard enough. Bastards.

Monsanto are perhaps the most despicable of all corporations, since they are ostensibly trying to control food by patenting their genetically modified seeds, that are resistant to their pesticides and suing any poor sucker who's land ends up being contaminated by them. How it isn't the reverse, with Monsanto getting sued into the ground in massive class-action lawsuits is beyond me. Oh... it's because Monsanto has a fuckton of money and lawyers.

There was this story recently though: http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/02/15/1956248/300k-organic-farmers-to-sue-monsanto-for-seed-patent-claims
I hope something becomes of it. The problem is that when big companies do lose court cases and have to pay damages, the damages are usually so small it's not a deterrent for whatever bad practice they were carrying out in the first place. You run a chemical company that poisons hundreds of people or a bank whose gambling and mismanagement basically ruins the economy? You should fucking go to jail and the company should be *massively* fined, or nationalised and dissolved. That NEVER happens. Steal a TV set and you might go to jail though.

As you point out, more and more people do seem to be realising how much corruption infests our political systems and anger is brewing. There have been a lot of protests and riots over the last couple of years, so I think maybe some western governments might be ended violently. Don't know where, but it does feel like we are gradually headed for more totalitarianism as a late attempt to crack down on all the awesome freedom the internet gives people. 
Than Was Close. 
Almost. What will actually happen is this:

long after the human race is extinct, aliens find Mankind's only surviving legacy - an ancient PC floating in space, containing nothing but a vanilla install of Quake (dos Quake, natch). With nothing more to go on but this, the aliens honour the memory of Man by recreating Quake as a real place - on the scorched and pitted surface of the long-dead Earth. Their re-creation of the architecture is eerily accurate. An oppressive purple cloud layer is engineered to blanket the planet that - using advanced alien technology - provides both heat and dim light to compensate for the fact that the Sun is now a fading white dwarf.

The aliens also recreate all of Quake's monsters - genetically engineered living, breathing organisms with unlimited natural lifespans - populating them in such a way as to perfectly reproduce the monster placement from the levels. Items and weapons are also constructed, and placed in their correct positions in the new environments; advanced alien science causing them to float and spin above the ground.

The aliens do not otherwise interfere with this strange new place; monsters are left alone to guard this esoteric, sprawling construct for no apparent reason. If one of the aliens were to decide to pick up a weapon and enter the gates of one of their realms, they would indeed find that the monsters would provide them with a tough, but balanced and ultimately satisfying challenge. But, the aliens leave them alone instead.

But then, after about eight million years of maintaining the same patrol, one of the creatures (a fiend I think) accidently wanders into a teleporter, causing an unanticipated release of teleporter energy that engulfs the entire complex and sends the whole thing back in time to Earth's ancient past, before life had even evolved. Cells and dna from the monsters, from bits of rubbed off skin and other...detritus seeds new life on this primordial planet under its young Sun which flourishes and evolves to become the ecosystem that we see today, its children being every living thing we know so far, inculding...us.

Meanwhile, the now unfathomably ancient dungeons of Quake remain, but aeons of shifting tectonics and changing climates has buried them somewhere under the antarctic ice; I think it's in the location of Lake Vostok.

Under the ice, Quake's immortal denizens wait.

But wait...what's this?...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/antarctica/9069588/Lake-Vostok-Russia-scientists-reach-underground-Antarctic-lake.html 
Awesome. 
nice prediction, Kinn. I think this sounds more likely than anything I've heard so far. 
Seconded 
awesome backstory for/excuse for Quake;
"Meta-Quake"!
Maybe id will use it for their new Quake. Certainly the story they used for the New Doom (3) was shit, and the one for the movie even shittier.

Than: I agree 100% with everything you said in your post (coincidentally I also read those two articles: "strategies to dissuade the teaching of science" wtf!); any punishment corporations, lobbyists (yes why is this allowed at all, it's just buying legislation), ceo's, government officials, bankers ever get, is never more than a slap on the wrist and does nothing to dissuade criminal behaviour.

It also is hard to know, from sheer pressure of numbers, when you're not crazy (re: corporations and government brainwashing people). I always tell myself, well my beliefs are based on evidence that I know about and if I get new/different evidence I'll adjust them; and I remind myself that for most of history people's beliefs about everything science now knows were completely delusional; science is the biggest intellectual revolution of all time and it's sickening to see it attacked on all fronts these day, even as it improves everyone's lives. 
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