Many people ask me why Hackstack would be interested in videogames.

Our CEO, Karl, recently spoke on a panel at M+DEV, a conference focused on videogame development, investing in videogame studios, and trends in the videogame market.

Whether you are a hardcore gamer or someone who dismisses games as “something for kids,” it’s hard to ignore the fact that videogames have foreshadowed – and perhaps even influenced – today’s user interfaces and user experiences. From Bloomberg terminals to CNBC tickers to the way we display data in presentations, videogames have influenced audience expectations about the density, sophistication, and accessibility of data.

In a fighting game, it is crucial to know how healthy the main character is. But it’s also important to see where your enemy(ies) are, what threats you should worry about most, and what options are available for you to mount an attack. These same variables are important to foreign exchange traders, oncologists, and combat drone pilots. It’s no wonder software increasingly used in these professions is influenced by videogame interfaces.

One of the things that has advanced incredibly quickly in the past five years is videogame AI. Here, helpful characters can assist you and guide you to your destination, while enemy characters block your path and correctly anticipate what attacks or tactics you may use against them. The same AI concepts used in videogames are now being used in applications from automotive navigation to predictions of which movie you’ll want to watch tonight.

We believe gaming gives a unique and important window into the user interfaces and user experiences of the future; this is one of several reasons we have frequent and important conversations with our friends in the videogame industry and value their perspectives on what might be next in the evolution of search.