A favorite past time for many who enjoy playing a wide variety of different genre-based games, the evolution of video can development has grown rapidly since its simple conception during the early 1950’s. While mobile gaming is also included in the history of video games the demographic of adults, children, and teens alike have dramatically increased over the years. With Atari being the first major gaming system the idea and ultimate developmental conception became an early hit among many who immediately became enthralled with the new trending craze. Although the idea of video gaming had been an experiment still in its developmental stages be Atari system was what really set the gaming world in motion. This article will seek to provide a historical account of video games from the 1970’s and on through what video games have come to be in today’s society. Moreover, a brief historical account will be described regarding the history of video games prior to the 1970’s.
The Early Years
Long before the Atari craze swept the nation a young man by the name of Edward U. Condon had come up with a computer design that allowed players to play a matchsticks game known as Nim. The design was put on display at the world’s fair in the computer design won the majority of all the games played. However, it wasn’t until 1947 when Thomas T Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann applied for a patent for a gaming idea that challenged players to shoot a gun at a specific target. Flash forward through the 1950’s during which time video gaming technology was still in its infancy and programming was the sole focus. It was during this time that games like chess and blackjack were the test subject matters of testing game theory out as it related to computers. By the time the 1960′ s rolled around programming efforts turned into simulated exercises on a wide variety of various topics that include baseball games and more. By the time 1967 rolled around efforts were in motion to create an updated version of a gaming system that allowed players to play games to the television. Eventually a year later Ralph Baer would go on to create the prototype for the Brown Box and a short year after that a patent was filed for an interactive television game.
From this point on games, albeit simulated games, grew more evolved with each passing year. At the start of the decade a simulated game called Mathematical Games took the idea of biological cells with the idea that isolated cluster cells could either die or live and go on to reproduce. The result was a wide variety of different patterns and grew increasingly popular among the hacking community. The early part of the 70′ s seen many more evolved simulated games as well as a game called Pong, a table tennis style game that (when tested) got jam because so many people were playing it. As the decade approached its midpoint the idea of the first-person shooter came into play in the form of Maze Wars.
The Atari Vintage Model
The midpoint of the 1970s rang in with a bang as the first version of the Atari game known as Pong was released has a home version game however because the founder of Atari (Nolan Bushnell) had nobody to help him sell and distribute the first set of units were sold in the sporting goods section of Sears. In 1976 text-based adventure games had paved the way for computer role-playing games such as Zork but by the time 1977 came a groundbreaking achievement in the video gaming world had been made with the release of Atari 2600 which came with all the bells and whistles and was a huge hit in American homes everywhere. As the decade wound down 1978 craze Space Invaders made its way to America from its origins of Japan where video game fanatics were unable to play due to the yen coin shortage. However, as the decade came to a close the first handheld gaming device known as Intellivision was released onto the market.
As the dawn of a new decade and era of video gaming roll around the 1980s start off with two early hits. The first hit was a game called Pac-Man which was inspired by a missing slice of pizza and would go on to become instant classic among players everywhere. The game even was released to the Atari 2600 making this game the first of its kind. In addition to the success of Pac-Man a new character was invented by the Nintendo known simply as Jumpman (later known as Mario). But has the early 80s made its way towards the midpoint of the decade other competitors soon became intrigued and involved in the video game craze; just one of the many was Disney with the movie release of Tron. One final video game addition, prior to the midpoint of the decade, was a puzzle game known as Tetris and was eventually released to Nintendo’s Game Boy.
As the latter part of the decade made its way towards a new era of gaming new developments were both imagined and created beginning with the Nintendo entertainment system that was originally released has Famicom in Japan two years prior to its United States release. It was only just a year later that another institution would join the video game craze by reaching out to its younger demographics for educational purposes in the form of learning programs such as Reader Rabbit CD-ROMs. Fantasy role playing games also became an instant success among other players with the release of games such as The Legend of Zelda as well as Dungeons and Dragons. Furthermore, the Maddon franchise is born and becomes the best seller along with the Game Boy handheld video game device.
It wasn’t until the calendar turned to this decade that video gaming really began taking off in terms of gaining popularity. With other forms of computer-related technology the early 90s seen a vast amount of improvement in the first steps of modernizing what video gaming would become and mean for the future. In 1990 Microsoft took the first steps towards this modernization by including a solitaire video game that could be played via the computer instead of a video game console. It wasn’t until a short year later that other forms of games and video game consoles made their way onto the scene. For starters, Sega Genesis and Sonic the Hedgehog were the first video game-oriented products that were released in the early 1990s. However, other forms of video gaming were soon to be released that allowed players to take on military leading roles in games such as Dune II. Additionally, by 1993 strategic gaming had become the latest and greatest throughout the video gaming world with games such as Mortal Kombat. Violence such as this had never been seen before in a video game and, as such, involve the United States Senate coming up with a rating system for video games while (at the same time) first-person shooter games were quickly becoming a popular trend.
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By the time the calendar was turned to 1995 new emerging technology had come into play via Sony with the release of its PlayStation video game console; a move that would eventually knock the Sega brand out of commission. In general, however, the mid-’90s were all about pushing the limits through the current video gaming technology that existed. These limits were expanded with the inclusion of online casino gaming on the internet. When http://100onlinecasinos.com was introduced, there were only three online casinos total across the internet. Even then, this time has made it through video games such as Laura Croft’s tomb raider as well as the first chess game match between a human and a supercomputer. Other ways in which video gaming progressed were through the re-creation of games such as the Zelda series as well as the emergence of the multiplayer genres.
The early 2000s were all about the popularity of video games and the next best thing. Due, in part, to the increasing ability of computers and (especially in regards to) PC gaming abilities the Sims video game series was the most popular (and recent) simulated video game yet to be released. Additionally, the military also played a role in adding to the capabilities for players to play a different type of video game in an effort to increase its attempts at recruiting and reaching a youthful generation. Finally, in terms of newly independent technology, the Xbox 360, as well as the Nintendo DS handheld gaming device, made their way to stores across the nation.
The latter part of the 2000s met new and imaginative aspects as related to the video gaming masses. With a gaming engine known as Steam released a mere two years earlier Microsoft’s Xbox also came out with a subscription-based system for players to become more emerged and have accessibility to a large range of game-play options through the Xbox live feature. In response to its competition, a short year later Nintendo responded with the release of the Nintendo Wii that integrated game-play and motion sensor capabilities resulting in an entirely new way to play video games. However, it wasn’t until 2007 when the music industry made its way onto the video gaming scene with the release of the first installment of Rock Band (a game that allowed players to choose between playing guitar, drums, and singing). Once again just a short year later the video gaming world had another offering via the massively multiplayer online gaming genres that allowed entire groups to play a game via a fantasy setting while earning game rewards. By the time 2009 rolled around social media gaming had been trending as the latest video game craze with games such as Angry Birds and Farmville.
Mid-2000’s – present
As the page was turned to the mid-2000s a new era was emerging in the video gaming industry with the release of indie games such as Minecraft (which gained a great deal of popularity). Other Tory video game hybrids such as SkyLanders and Disney’s Infinity is also added to the increasingly rich history of the video game world becoming the first of its kind. Additionally, video games geared towards more mature audiences have also become increasingly popular as of late. Finally, there have also been a numerous amount of inventions in the way of new trending video gaming devices that have come to include the PlayStation 3, 4, and PlayStation’s handheld device known as the PlayStation Vita. Microsoft and Nintendo have also had their hands in releasing new and modern day video game consoles with the Xbox One as well as the Nintendo Wii U. Should the past patterns of video gaming technology prove anything is that the future (in association with the rise of technology) will only become increasingly enhanced from where it is today.
In conclusion, while the early history of video games can be traced away back to the 1940’s with the design of a game called Nim (a traditional game that required the player to avoid picking up the last matchstick). From there the idea of game creation, and has time went on video gaming in general became a conceptualized idea that would go on to increasingly evolve into what it has become today. Even though the idea of video gaming took a bit of time to get off the ground there have been some great creations and technical advancements that have allowed the popularity of video gaming to not only become a way of life for video game players everywhere but to provide an avenue that entertains, teaches, and much more. As a result of some of the early patented inventions during the early days playing games such as Pac-Man, any Mario game, Mortal Kombat, or any of the other several classics pays homage to what video gaming is in today’s modern age. Rather a game is played on a home gaming console, a PC, or on any one of the ever so popular social media networks video gaming will always have a place to call home and as such with technology becoming even more advanced than it already is discovering what the future may have in store for the video gaming industry may very well be a thing of beauty.
These days, modern gaming has taken a different approach and is now more widely available. Now you can play games on social media or through various websites online without even having to purchase a console. Most games these days follow a free-to-play model in which the game itself is free but players can purchase exclusive in-game content as well, often referred to as micro-transactions.
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Current consoles are still widely popular as well, although most companies have moved into their own category of gaming. Microsoft and Sony fight neck to neck for the most popular console titles, while Nintendo shifts their focus on hand-held and family friendly games. Online play seems to be a big component of modern games as they are mainly created to be played with multiple players. Even handheld games are now able to connect through WiFi, making current gaming much different from the retro style that many of us grew up with.