The future of gaming with high-speed broadband
Gaming company Mega Future Games is finding a way to create products with real life benefits thanks to high-speed broadband.
Having received his first gaming console at the age of six, Hugh Thornton says his love for computer games has endured right through to adulthood. Now, Hugh makes a career out of gaming through his company Mega Future Games, which he set up with his former classmates in Dundalk Institute of Technology. Not just a gaming company, Mega Future Games has real life benefits, too. Key to its success, says Hugh, is high-speed broadband.
Mega Future Games was born out of Hugh and his classmates’ final year project, which tasked students to make a game that had a real world benefit and use. Seeking inspiration, Hugh turned to an issue close to his heart. He explains: “I looked at the technology that was available and how we could apply that to my uncle, who has multiple sclerosis. That’s where the idea came from.”
Hugh and his classmates – now his Mega Future Games team – developed a game that uses innovative controller technology. The game can detect people’s movements through a camera or electronic signals in the muscles, without requiring them to touch a console. “We can code physical therapy gestures to be recognised as gaming inputs,” says Hugh.
Hugh explains that the game has a number of major benefits to people with multiple sclerosis and other degenerative diseases. It provides motivation to stick to prescribed exercise regimes and by encouraging movement and the use of muscles, it also enables strength training. Hugh says: “The third benefit is that it generates analytical data, which can feed back into your condition and how well you’re doing.”
BOOSTING COLLABORATION WITH HIGH-SPEED BROADBAND
The Mega Future Games team is now dispersed across Ireland. Using high-speed broadband, however, they can collaborate on projects and work as one unit. Fast internet speeds also allow the company founders to upload videos quickly. “Otherwise we’d be sitting doddling, waiting two or three hours for the videos to go up,” says Hugh.
In fact, Hugh says high-speed broadband is crucial to the company’s entire existence. “I don’t think we could do it at all if we didn’t have high-speed broadband,” he says. “All of the communication we have to do, all of the collaboration and development that’s involved. If we weren’t able to keep up, developing features would take too long.”
The presence of high-speed broadband has allowed Mega Future Games to continue to push boundaries and innovate. The company’s success in doing that has caught the attention of Microsoft, who named Mega Future Games winner of the Imagine Cup World Citizenship Competition 2014, a global competition that rewards projects that have the potential to change lives. Hugh concludes: “Our hope for Mega Future Games is that we can take the company and launch games that are entertaining, fun and actually helpful to people.”