For the longest time, the video game industry has continued to offer its users more improved graphics and advanced technology. Artificial intelligence is used in gaming to generate adaptive, intelligent, and responsive behaviors in non-player characters. AI has taken gaming to a new level with an enhanced intellectual, social, and ability. The industry has moved from producing more complex scenarios to emulating human characteristics and improving the user’s experience. 

Gaming is becoming so dynamic with the development of AI. The Non-player characters can now traverse and find their way among the various terrain in the virtual world. What’s more? They are intelligent enough to locate their friends without colliding with their enemies. 

When Did Artificial Intelligence Begin? 

Let us look at the evolution of AI in gaming starting from the arcade games era all the way to present technologies.

First Generation: Arcade Video Games 

They are among the earliest successful commercial video games introduced in the 1970s. Their Developers initially used stored patterns to direct a character’s movement. However, they improved the machines by including microprocessors to add more spontaneous movement patterns. 

The games designed stored patterns to simulate a programmed random movement among the characters. Space invaders (1978) were among the games that kept the players hooked as they inserted coins into the machines to play. Others include Pac–Man (1980), Mari Bros (1983).

Second Generation: Simulation

Simulation came about in 2000 with The Sims, where games are brought into real life by copying real-life activities. Here, players become supernatural beings and control a character or their environment freely. These video games use different need-based formulas to control a character’s relationships and behaviors. The Sim’s choices are determined and directed by the player.

Third Generation: Combat Gaming

Combat Gaming is a more complex AI development in gaming as it uses AI to create realistic opponents. It uses Finite State Machines to indicate the flow of action in AI video games. The FMS opponents defend themselves, survive, and even heal afterward. The NPC’s attack is triggered by physical and audible distances to the environment like footprints and snapping twigs under the feet. These games include Mortal Kombat and Tekken series, Metal gear solid 5, and many more. 

Fourth Generation: Open-World

Gaming is moving a notch higher by focusing on players’ behavior. The players are more focused on investing in online multiplayer games with more erratic opponents. AI opens the world where NPC can compete with human gameplay and realistic characters with real conversations. According to, gaming is now more convenient as you no longer have to register to play. The only thing you need to do is to pay and then play.

AI and Data Use

AI has developed so much that it can collect data about a player’s behavior and match it to a video game. This means that the more you play, the more data Developers collect, thereby designing games to suit your needs. The development is important as it enhances the user experience, increasing revenue from their spending habits.

The Age of Augmented Reality

The future of gaming is geared towards augmented reality, as seen in the release of  PokemonGo. This video game has become an overnight sensation after garnering over 30 million users in less than a month. AI future’s in gaming remains uncertain. Although you can rest assured it is directed towards virtual reality, it creates a complete simulation of alternate realities.


  1. I think artificial intelligence is an interesting subject in video games. Some AI and machine learning algorithms require a good understanding of data science, but it’s pretty easy to find many examples online if you plan on making a game. For instance, if you create a turn-based RPG where there’s a player vs. a computer, you might run a Monte Carlo distribution.

    A lot of AI and machine learning, if you plan on creating your own algorithms, requires applications of more advanced topics like statistics and even matrix algebra (e.g. Markov chains to predict outcomes/events), so I think there’s a good amount of research that game developers would have to conduct.

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