My first console was the Nintendo 64 but my first experience with video games was with Doom. My dad would let 1 year old me sit on his lap and play it. From about then on I have harbored a healthy affection for gaming (it's totally unhealthy). I enjoy most types of games but I have switched from just a player's standpoint to a more analytical position. I am currently working on a research paper for one of my college classed that ask the question of video game's validity as an art form. I major in film studies but that may switch to some form of writing.
When I say true interactivity I don't really mean the kind of interactions one would find in everyday life, such as walking a different way to work or deciding to go to the gym for that day. I'm talking about interactions that really matter, such as pulling a loved one off of life support or not getting that abortion (Obviously not decisions like that, well maybe, I guess it depends on the game) Yes it will be really cool once games advance enough to allow us those insignificant aforementioned decisions, but those small decisions aren't game changing. I want grand scale interactivity and I want my interactions to matter in the game world, have lasting impact, and NPC reactions.
An example of what I want would be that, let's say fallout 3 came out 30 years later. instead of going up to an old man, clicking on him, having him say something, then you either choose one of three responses or leave; I want to be able to say something, either by typing or physically talking to this old man. I want to be able to interact with this old man in a real manner. If want to know what this old man's role in this world is, I just ask him. If I want to know how old he is, I just ask him, and if I notice that he is having a problem I want to be able to help in a way that doesn't bring that problem to the front and ask me as a player if I want to help by answering "Yes or no," In other words, I don't want the game to say "This is a problem, fix it or ignore it" I want to have to rely on myself to notice that there is an issue and then choose to fix it.
I also want to be able to solve the problem in any way I see fit. The game Dishonored has the right idea in letting the player choose how to solve the problem. For example at one point in the game the player is tasked with taking out two women at a party. The player can either kill them or take them out without killing them, they can get inside using stealth, acrobatics, possessing a fish and swimming in, charging in guns blazing and all of this is up to the player. They have even made it possible for a player to solve a problem in a way they don't even know about themselves. This is key to future game development because it is impossible to pre-plan every single way to solve a problem.
This brings me to the question I ask in the title. Will true interactivity ever be available in games? This question can also be phrased as "Will technology ever advance enough to allow us this true availability?" And I really have no answer for this question other than "I hope." We are privileged enough to witness the start of humanity's technological rise, Processing power doubles about every 18 months. New and more powerful graphics cards every year and innovation with gameplay and story mechanics happens everyday. I am confident it will happen but you never know. The goal of the industry could switch from making great and innovative games to only making money, and obviously that would be mostly bad.
So let's just all hope for a bright future in which people who care about video games as art and as story telling agents prevail. Let's hope for a more Gaben future. (Thanks for reading this garbage that didn't even answer the question it posed)