Edge 20th anniversary: the future of interactive entertainment, as envisioned in 1993

The shape of things

As part of our ongoing 20th anniversary celebrations, we’re republishing a series of retro features from our archives. Here, from Edge issue one, published in 1993, selected innovators and industry figures of the day offered their thoughts on what’s next for videogames.

“I have an ambiguous attitude to videogames: They can be a good thing, but also very addictive – I myself was addicted – to SnakeBite on my Apple II about ten years ago. I regard the addictive nature of virtual reality as a real danger. Of course it could be a shortsighted view: if we are plugged into the whole universe, why should we unplug ourselves?”

Arthur C. Clarke

“Telephone and cable companies will lay the information super highway and it will be one of the greatest technological  developments of the 20th century. But someone will still have to fill up the highway. It won’t be a new entertainment form, but a more sophisticated version of what exists now.”

George Lucas

“It’s a new world. In about five years CD ROM is going to absorb entertainment, education and information. There’s a growing palate of what I call enabling technology, which allows the consumer to think of himself as the artist.”

Peter Gabriel

“Games aren’t going to be played by the 13 year old shut away in his room: they’re going to be connective, interactive. I foresee a day when you go to a movie theatre, there’s about 300 people there, and between you, you all play the movie. From your seats, you control what happens. The technology is here today…”

Mark Lewis, president of Electronic Arts

“Within a few years from now, we’ll start to see cable and satellite direct broadcast games where you select from a menu of games and it’ll constantly download new parts of the game into your machine while you’re playing.”

Jez San, MD of Argonaut Software

“I think incredibly sophisticated virtual reality is the future. Experiences that somehow tap into the mind are controlled by your thoughts, rather than any hardware, must come somewhere down the line.”

Nick Alexander, MD of Sega Europe