Essay: History of Video Games

History of Video Games

The first ‘video game’ was designed and created by William Higinbotham in 1958 which was immensely popular; it was “Tennis for Two” the game was played on a Brookhaven National Laboratory oscilloscope. Then in the following years in 1962 “Space Invaders” came out which was created by Steve Russell. This was the very first game that was meant to be played on a computer. To design this game, Russell used an MIT PDP-1 mainframe computer. Another couple of years following Space Invaders, Ralph Bauer famous for the “Brown Box” created a video game known as ‘Chase’ which was meant to be played on a television set.

At that time, Ralph Bauer was working with Sanders Associates which was basically a military electronics company. At the time when he conceived this idea, he was employed by Loral which was a television company. Furthermore, in 1971 Nolan Bushnell along with friend Ted Dabney created the very first arcade game which was originally based on Steve Russell’s game ‘Space wars” the game they developed was called “Computer Space”. Another famous arcade game ‘Pong’ was also created by Nolan Bushnell and he had some help from Al Alcorn. The game came out later in 1972. And in the same year, Nolan Bushnell along with Ted Dabney established Atari Computers.

In 1975 just three after Pong was released Atari released it again as a home video game and not just arcade. In those times, the computer games that were being programmed were mostly written for computer systems such as Apple and TRS-80, which in those times were a big hit. But in 1983 the video game console industry crashed significantly losing much of the market share but the industry quickly recovered and never looked back. one area that has not been wholly explored and I personally felt that it should be is the fact that how all the differences we play tend to be classified as belonging to different genres and that fact that how those genres evolved with the video games themselves.

Besides the huge difference in modern graphics the real question is was playing a tennis game on Atari very different from playing the very same game on a different console, let’s say on a PlayStation 2? Many passionate and old school game lovers grieve over the fact that over the years the graphics have gotten a lot better, but not the gameplay and I am talking about playing video games in the modern era. This poses yet another important question which is has this really been the truth that only the graphics of the game have improved and not the gameplay itself?

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