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The History of Video Games: A Significant Part of Modern People’s Lives Essay

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Updated: Jan 26th, 2022

Introduction

Attention Getter: If you look around, you’ll see that video games have become a significant part of modern people’s lives. Today I am going to tell you about the history of video games, a phenomenon that has caused a revolution in the entertainment sphere.

Overview of Main Points: We are going to speak about the dawn of computer games, paying attention to their predecessors the milestones of their development. Of course, the concept of video games did not come out of the thin air.

Body

It could be logical to connect the creation of video games with the development of computer technologies. Still, it would be unfair not to mention the ancestors that had nothing to do with technologies.

Chess, checkers, cards, billiard, and, of course, table-top role-playing games all supplied the ideas for video games (Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Smith, Tosca & Egenfeldt-Nielsen, 2013).

A word should also be said about coin-operated mechanical entertainment machines, most of which were invented by the 1940s. Those usually gave you a chance to play games like pinball or simulated gunfights and horse races and nowadays look like the prototypes of “real” video games (Kent, 2001).

It took some time for the new type of entertainment to travel from scientific laboratories and to a common consumer’s apartment.

At first, these games were never commercialized which is understandable: the huge machines that were required to play a computerized version of tennis were noisy and inconvenient.

In 1966, however, Ralph Baer suggested using TV sets for playing games (Wolf, 2008)?

The first video game console called Odyssey was manufactured in 1972 (Wolf, 2008). It enabled people to play their first video games at home. What were those games like? Well, for example, in Firefighter you had to repeatedly hit a single button to prevent the screen from going red.

The industry, which has experienced both upturns and downturns in the course of its development.

The 70s and the 80s are usually called the golden age of arcade games (Wolf, 2008). The legendary games like Space Invaders and Pac-Man and most of the video game genres (like RPG or horror survival) were developed during that period of time.

In 1983, however, the video game crash took place and caused bankruptcy for several North American companies that produced consoles and computers. One of the reasons for the crisis was a common belief that video games were just another fad that could not last long or bring much profit (Wolf, 2008).

Thankfully, this idea proved to be wrong and, as Nintendo developed a new generation of consoles, the industry got another chance. Since then the continuous development of consoles and computer technologies pushed this type of entertainment forward, making it more popular and turning the whole industry more profitable. 3D graphics came into video games during the 90s. Handheld games were introduced at the beginning of the 90s and the first mobile game, “Snake”, was installed onto Nokia phones in 1997 (Wolf, 2008).

Conclusion

Indeed, despite the doubts caused by the first attempts at creating video games, they have become an integral part of the modern entertainment industry. Their development depended very much on the development of computer technologies. As the latter flourished the former followed suit.

It is not difficult to realize that the history of computer games is far from over. We witness it now, we take part in it now and we are going to shape it with our own hands.

References

Egenfeldt-Nielsen, S., Smith, J., Tosca, S., & Egenfeldt-Nielsen, S. (2013). Understanding video games (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Kent, S. (2001). The ultimate history of video games. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

Wolf, M. (2008). The video game explosion. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

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IvyPanda. "The History of Video Games: A Significant Part of Modern People’s Lives." January 26, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-history-of-video-games/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "The History of Video Games: A Significant Part of Modern People’s Lives." January 26, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-history-of-video-games/.

References

IvyPanda. (2022) 'The History of Video Games: A Significant Part of Modern People’s Lives'. 26 January.

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