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From The 19th Century To Now: Video Games Evolution


Video games have turned into a hundred billion dollars’ worth of global industry at present. Nearly two-thirds of the households in the country have members who regularly play different video games. Things like the true blue casino no deposit bonus or video games have become commonplace now, but this was the scenario in the mid-1900s. Video games have truly gone through years of evolution to reach their current stage.

The Initial Days of Video Gaming

Video games might have become a worldwide phenomenon at present, but this wasn’t always the case. The first video game was born in a research lab. A.S. Douglas, a British professor, had created OXO in 1952, which was basically a game of tic-tac-toe. William Higinbotham, in 1958, made ‘Tennis for Two’ for those huge analog computers. He connected an oscilloscope screen to show it to the visitors at New York’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.

The progress continued and Steve Russell came up with ‘Spacewar!’ at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1962. It was a computer game based on space combat and ran on Programmed Data Processor-1 (PDP-1). It was a high-end computer in those days that was mainly found in universities. This was the first game that could be enjoyed on multiple computers. The home console was born after this time.

The Birth of the First Home Console

Sanders Associates Inc., headed by Ralph Baer, came up with a prototype multiplayer in 1967. They invented a multi-program video gaming system that was supposed to be played on the television. They called it the Brown Box. This earned Baer the tag of being the ‘father of video games.’ He licensed the device to Magnavox.

Magnavox started selling the system to the consumers as the Odyssey, which was the first ever video gaming home console in 1972. This first console ultimately fizzled out over the years and died out. However, one of the original twenty-eight games of the Odyssey served as the inspiration for the first arcade game called Atari’s ‘Pong,’ which the company released in the same year. Though Magnavox was sued by Sanders Associates for copyright infringement, the company settled and became the licensee for Odyssey. In fact, they won over a hundred million dollars in copyright suits in the next twenty years. Atari introduced the Atari 2600 in 1977, which is also called the Video Computer Systems. It was like home consoles that had gaming cartridges and joysticks. Thus, the second generation of video gaming was started.

The video gaming industry went through a number of major milestones in the years between the 1970s and the 1980s, such as:

  • The Space Invaders arcade was released in 1978.
  • The first ever third-party game developer called Activision was launched in 1979.
  • The immensely popular game of Japan, Pac-Man, finally came to the USA.
  • Nintendo made Donkey Kong and the world got the adorable character Mario.
  • The first Flight Simulator game was released by Microsoft.

The Crash of the North American Video Gaming Industry

The North American video game industry experienced a major setback in 1983 because of several factors. The gaming console market was oversaturated, while the computer gaming market offered tough competition. To add to that, there was a surplus of low-quality over-hyped games. A number of video game and computer console ventures went bankrupt during this time. The industry started recovering when the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) came to the USA. The games like Super Mario, Metroid, and the legend of Zelda that the company released in the 1980s are still around.

The Battle of the Gaming Consoles

Sega came up with the 16-bit Genesis console in North America in 1989, but failed to compete against the popularity of the NES. However, the company did not back down. It released ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ in 1991, which was technologically superior to the NES and was also accompanied by intelligent marketing tactics. The NES came up with its own 16-bit console in North America in the same year, thereby starting a war of consoles. Several popular games were released on both the consoles in the early and mid-1990s. Since some of the games showed blood and gore, Sega laid the foundation of the Videogame Rating Council in 1993. It later became the Entertainment Software Rating Board, which till date rates games on their content. Several movies were also made on video games around this time.

The Modern Day and Age of Gaming

In the next stage of evolution, the video games became three-dimensional and more engaging. Nintendo and Sega each came up with on-brand, highly-rated 3D games like Super Mario 64 and Virtua Fighter, respectively. However, they failed to compete with Sony. Sony had strong third-party support that made the Playstation get a number of exclusive gaming titles. Sony continued to dominate the market with the launch of Playstation 2 in 2000. Sega’s Dreamcast failed to make the buzz as expected from it. Finally, Sega became a third-party software organization.

The modern age of HD video games was kicked off around 2005-06, with the release of Nintendo’s Wii, Sony’s Playstation 3, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Though the Playstation 3 was the only one that played Blu-rays during that time, Sony had to face tough competition from the rivals. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure was launched in 2011, and with its release, video games came into the physical world. The game needed players to put plastic toys on to a specific accessory. Nintendo Wii U launched the present generation of games in 2012.

At present, both Microsoft and Sony are focusing on virtual reality gaming. One thing is for sure, the future holds a lot of promise for all gaming enthusiasts of the world.

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