Saturday, August 22, 2020

Will Cloud Gaming take over the video gaming world?

This article is by

Share this article

A person engaged in PC Gaming |Source: Florian Olivo via Unsplash

Video gaming has evolved massively over the years with much better graphics, great storyline, and breathtaking visuals. The fun began with the 8-bit games Super Mario Bros and Contra and later by the arrival of PlayStation. In the 2000s, classics like GTA San Andreas and Portal came which were followed by Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and GTA V.  Now with gaming competitions, eSports, and their likes, gaming has come a long way.

A still from Need For Speed | Source: Electronic Arts

Video gaming have now evolved in multiple genres like racing (Need for Speed), Parkour style (Assassin’s Creed), FPS shooters (Call of Duty and Halo), Horror (Resident Evil series), or Sports games like FIFA. The spread of video games can be gauged by the fact that the highest Football governing body FIFA is backing the FIFA series video games. Game Streaming has gone professional now, professional footballers like Sergio Aguero or current F1 drivers like Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc becoming the online gaming hero.

With the advent of cloud gaming, the industry is now at the cusp of its most radical change. Cloud Gaming aims to provide high-end gaming experience without the super expensive PC hardware which were needed earlier. A gamer now needs just a simple low-end PC or even a smartphone to enjoy high end gaming.

Google has taken the lead in cloud gaming service by launching “Stadia'', followed by Nvidia with “GeForce Now”. Microsoft, which is one of the heavy-hitters of console gaming via their Xbox series, is shortly launching their cloud gaming service xCloud for Android in 22 countries. So anyone with an Android phone and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, can enjoy the high quality online games on their smartphone.

Google Stadia Booth at Game Developers Conference 2019 | Source: Official GDC via Flickr

Cloud gaming comes with many advantages, the biggest of these is that there is no need to download a huge amount of data for running these games. Most games nowadays come with a download size exceeding 50 GB while some like Call of Duty: Warzone and Red Dead Redemption 2 even require around 100 GB download. Then there comes all the DLCs, patches which again need huge chunks of data. Cloud gaming eliminates it.

NVIDIA Titan RTX |Source: Nvidia

The second advantage is that the above-mentioned games can even run on an Android device. Also, don’t be concerned about the quality of resolution of these cloud-run games. Google Stadia can run games at 4K resolution at 60fps, which is even the limit of the current-gen consoles. They claim to further expand it to 8K at 120fps in the future, which is a quality that the best current Graphics card, the Nvidia Titan RTX hasn’t even reached.

However, with all the advantages, cloud gaming still has some basic shortcomings. The first one among them is the requirement of very high data bandwidth. The idea of playing games at 4K@60fps may seem fascinating, but that will need a steady high-speed bandwidth. For instance, Stadia lists that one needs at least 35 Mbps connection to accomplish the said frame rate and resolution.

The second bottleneck of cloud gaming is that it requires huge amounts of data to run games at such high quality. However the main reason inhibiting its wider adoption is the high cost associated with cloud gaming. For instance, Stadia costs $9.99/month, but it only comes with some select games available for free. Many other games like Assassin’s Creed series are available at Stadia, but these are to be purchased separately and at a price almost on par with the PC and Console version of the game. These shortcomings make one wonder if they are paying a much larger amount of money compared to if they purchased a gaming PC or console.

The world entering the age of 5G internet can be a catalyst to the growth of cloud gaming across the world. It can surely challenge the upcoming next-gen consoles, the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 soon. Microsoft’s approach with its xCloud service looks to be going in sync with its PC and Xbox ecosystem. It will indeed be helpful to the gaming industry in the longer run.

So, the big question arises, can Cloud gaming take over the video gaming world? For the present, the answer is a clear NO! In the future, perhaps.

Support us to bring the world closer

To keep our content accessible we don't charge anything from our readers and rely on donations to continue working. Your support is critical in keeping Global Views 360 independent and helps us to present a well-rounded world view on different international issues for you. Every contribution, however big or small, is valuable for us to keep on delivering in future as well.

Support Us

Share this article

Read More

October 23, 2020 3:57 PM

Male gaze, their female guardians and sports-wear

In Helen Cixous’ essay, ‘The Laugh of Medusa’, she urges women to redefine what their body means to them, not just physically but also socially, emotionally and politically. This could happen by re-writing about your body in a way you deem  fit, the expression you identify with and separating it from how your body has been written about by men. The expression could be how you view your body separate from the patriarchal lense.

It is no secret that a woman’s body is subject to critique. While clothing for men is just a tool to cover themselves as per the surrounding environment, clothing for women isa social and political narrative that dictates their life or as we affectionately call it ‘culturally appropriate’.

The clothing style could vary. It could be a woman covered head to toe in a Burqa, it could be a woman who decides to wear sports-wear in a park or it could be jeans and a top. Everything is critically evaluated by men and by women who work towards protecting the male gaze.

The male gaze is a heterosexual way of looking at female bodies that sexualises these bodies into an object. It is a gaze that runs on the self-affirmative notion that the bodies of women, and what they do with it, is directly linked to how they  appear in front of a man.

In a recent incident in Bangalore, India, popular Indian actress Samyuktha Hegde was abused and threatened by senior political leader of the congress party, Kavitha Reddy,  for wearing sports-wear, in Bangalore’s Agara Lake park. She was exercising with her friend.

Kavitha Reddy initially claimed she was in indecent attire and went onto morally police and then later abused the actress and her friend.  A supposedly progressive political leader gets uncomfortable by what women are wearing. It breaks into an argument and a fight where the politician is supported by five to six men. Later on, the police appear to be appeasing the politician instead of the women who were harassed. Although she did apologise, her apology came after her video went viral, and as a protection for her own political reputation.

To look at Samyuktha Hegde’s clothing as a threat is to view her clothing as an act of obscenity therefore bullying her identity and sense of agency and reducing her to sexual object, who, by putting her in public, apparently gives the men present a right to look at her? Nevermind that she was there to workout like everyone else, her actions were confused as to how men look at her. In the video posted by the actress, the politician is surrounded by men who are championing her on. The politician choses to side with the patriarchal figures in shaming these women. Asking to protect from the male gaze is a far stretch but punishing women for the male gaze is where we should draw a line.

What roles does Kavitha Reddy play? She is the guardian of the male gaze. We find her in our mothers, in our grandmothers, in aunties and sometimes our friends. She understands a woman’s body as an object that is there to be looked at by men. She gets angry at women for wearing certain kinds of clothing but she is not angry at men for looking. The agency in this case always belongs to men.

When Cixous asks women to re-define their identity, she urges us to strangle the moral police that comes alive in such instances. It is the moral police that shames women for wearing clothes that don’t flatter their bodies or clothes that do flatter them. She urges us to reflect upon the source of such vigilance. Do we shame other women because we believe in what we are saying or our identity is partially (or  wholly) shaped by the male gaze?

Whether we chose to wear a burqa, or a dress, or variations of the new type clothing produced everyday, the crux of the matter is that it should not worry anyone apart from the one wearing it. The identity of a woman, sexual or otherwise, has to be redefined to be separated from the men and their gaze. We have to draw a line otherwise people in power will continue to abuse their power and preserve patriarchy and male gaze.

Read More