Presence of GIS in Video Games

Is there a Presence of GIS in Video Games?

GIS – Geographic Information System – the applications of GIS ranges from disaster management, to agriculture, to Astronomy to Climate change and the list goes on. Virtually no sector can survive without the integration of spatial dimension in some way or the other. It is a no brainer that in today’s time you need that extra edge be it analytics or merely pointing the data source etc., to neutralize the competition and thrive. Sounds all scientific, technical and same old stuff right? Let’s talk about the fun part then, Video Games.  Yes everybody loves them, even the adults and it a multibillion dollar industry that only grows every fiscal year.

Gaming and GIS

Gaming is one sector that has been using GIS techniques extensively over the past few strike20mp_strikeyears. You see gone are the days when you just banged your head on a brick, eat a mushroom that pops out of it and gain a power (yes I’m talking about Mario). Games now a days are a much more immersive and overwhelming experience thanks to supersonic growth speed in the graphics industry. But the question is, where does GIS comes into play here? It’s simple – maps!

Visit a part of USA in GTA V or Iraq in Call of Duty!

Most games nowadays, feature complex interactive maps, with astonishing attention to detail. Maps on games like GTA V, Call of Duty, Battlefield, etc. are applauded for their attention to the minutest of the details, keeping in mind the concepts of terrain, physics and simple geography. Also these maps have amazing resemblance to the real world cities! There are games where the player can create its own world like Minecraft and SimCity, have been huge success in the market. But the point is, the fundamentals remain the same here as well. Even some of the tools are same. (Read ArcGIS, GeoMedia,  QGIS).

To make the virtual world more realistic and appealing, geospatial tools provide an edge to make them more manageable, model and design. Video game designers extensively export real world spatial data sets, modify and render them, to make more realistic and dynamic levels and worlds within the games. Because hey the concept of geography remains the same!

What does GIS Industry has to gain from Gaming Industry?

Not only has the gaming industry had to gain from GIS. It can be the other way around as well. Yes. The gaming environments are so real in terms of level of details and physics that they can and HAVE been extensively used as means simulation and geospatial analysis. When we throw Virtual Reality into the scene, it’s a whole new open door for imagination.

So the gaming industry paves the way for unconventional GIS jobs that apart from being cool, are also very much attached to GIS and distant at the same time.

Game on!

Feature Image Courtesy: igta5

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