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With amazing technology and unprecedented diversity, there's never been a better time to be a player.

It's a big weekend for UK gamers as the doors are flung open at Eurogamer Expo, which effectively turns London's Earls Court into a massive arcade filled with scores of the latest games on hundreds of consoles for thousands of you lot to play.

I popped along yesterday afternoon during final set-up to be interviewed for a radio documentary on blockbuster gaming, which is, not unreasonably, trying to frame the rapid evolution of video games in relation to Hollywood and the box office-busting entertainment of the big screen. Let's be honest, the games industry itself is hardly shy in drawing similar comparisons.

But wandering around the main hall, watching arse crack-exposing workmen frantically clatter, clang, drill, shout and swear stands into shape, it struck me just how much more diverse, dynamic and downright great gaming has become compared to any other form of entertainment.

In other words, one-size-fits-all definitions, as much as the media love a simple, idiot-friendly label, are now utterly redundant. That's why the broadcaster I spoke to is pleasingly making two additional docs on different aspects of gaming. Progress.

It's worth reflecting, though, on the current state of gaming in all its astonishing variety. And why, as much as we like to whine, bitch and sneer about the stuff we don't like, we're actually stupidly lucky to have our hands on the controllers at this moment in time.

Sure, the headline-grabbing mega-hits like Metal Gear, Gears of War, GTA and COD are bigger and better than ever – indeed, as you're reading this it's possible MGS creator and all round legend Hideo Kojima will be on-stage in London wowing an audience with a look back over 25 years – 25 years! – of his stealth sensation.

But have you seen the quality of smartphone games recently? Try Rayman Jungle Run, Lili, Real Racing 3 and CSR Racing for eye candy, Super Hexagon, Twang The Fox, Super Magical, Bitless and 10000000 for life-ruining moreishness.

Tiny teams continue to enjoy breakthrough success on iOS and Android, but the indie scene on PC and console has never looked rosier or more inventive, from Mike Bithell's quirky Thomas Was Alone to Thatgamecompany's glorious Journey.

Thanks to sandbox stars such as Minecraft, we're also connecting and collaborating online in our millions – a quick look at the most popular videos on YouTube, usually dominated by odes to Notch's blocky beauty, shows you how the balance of power in interactive entertainment has shifted seismically.

Consider, too, the dizzying range of ways to play available to today's gamer: consoles, desktops, laptops, coin-ops, smartphones, handhelds, browsers, widescreens, dual-screens, second screens, touchscreens, 3D screens, mouse and keys, joysticks, joypads, trackpads, motion controllers, You Are The Controller.

And yet, there's still thousands who can't play games by traditional means because of a disability. Which is where accessible gaming tech comes in. SpecialEffect, a small UK charity, has a stand at Eurogamer Expo where attendees can play top titles in ways they've never experienced before.

How do you fancy controlling DiRT 3 with your eyes? And how about playing Portal 2 like this? Use your chin to control where you look, the foot buttons for backwards and forwards, the switches by your shoulders to fire portals, and the finger pad to jump.

It's a highly elaborate set-up, but also an essential one if you have a condition that means you can't hold a regular joypad. But these days, thanks to tech from simple switches all the way to gaze control, everyone can play.

Over the past four decades, gaming has evolved from a couple of crappy rectangles and a lonely square to this. And it's advancing all the time.

Probably the biggest draw of Eurogamer Expo is the first public hands-on with Wii U, Nintendo's new console that's out on November 30th. With its Game Pad and second screen it's aiming to revolutionise the way we play through 'asymmetric gaming'. And its launch marks the start of a massive year for consoles, with PS4 and the next Xbox set to be announced early next year and released by the end of it.

And in the meantime, gamers are hardly stuck for great content to go gaga over. Excluding the Wii U line-up, there's: Halo 4, COD: Black Ops 2, God of War: Ascension, Tomb Raider, GTA V, Assassin's Creed 3, Forza Horizon, Metal Gear Rising, BioShock Infinite, Dead Space 3, The Last Of Us, Beyond: Two Souls… Not too shabby, eh?

Next-gen will rewrite the rules and change our expectations yet again, but the future beyond the next few years will see a renewed drive into uncharted territory. Backed by Doom-creating super-nerd John Carmack, Oculus Rift will deliver the virtual reality experience we've been dreaming of for decades at a price we'll actually be able to afford.

Oh yeah, and Microsoft wants to wire you up and turn your living room into the Holodeck. Count me in.

So there we are. Never mind Hollywood. Gaming is already bigger, broader and more engaging than movies will ever be. And yet this still feels like the beginning of the journey. Exciting, isn't it?


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