The origins of video games


While video gaming is a relatively new concept, it has swept the planet like a worldwide obsession, the industry quickly becoming worth millions in just under one hundred years. It has become a large part of some of the biggest populations and cultures across the entirety of the globe and it continues to grow with every new console, game and franchise. Though we have not completely moved forward from the age of tabletop games, we are slowly moving into a completely digital age of gaming. As with everything that we have, it is important that we look to where it originally came from. 

Some of the earliest development of video games started sometime around 1950, only around 70 years ago. Digitally programmed versions of stimple games such as tic tac toe were developed. It wasn’t until 1961, however, that a widely distributed game was developed. This game was ‘Spacewar!’. This game was developed on an old PDP-1 computer by a group of students at the Massechusetts institute of technology, more commonly known as MIT, and compared to modern games, it really is simple. It had two ‘spaceships’, each controlled by a human player, called ‘the needle’ and ‘the wedge’ respectively. The two players tried to shoot at eachother and take down their digital opponent. When the students who had developed the programme began to spread out across all of America, they took the code with them and spread the game across all of the USA. It is the first ever video game to be on multiple computer harddrives. Although it could only be played to those who had acess to a PDP-1 and a copy of the programme that the game ran from, the game was extrememly popular among the small coding community. Could this possibly credited as the first wide spread video game? 

As time went by, new simplistic games were developed such as ping, which was developed into a game and sold as part of several single chip consoles distributed to homes. Although it was an exciting revolution for the 1970’s, it was not the biggest technological craze of that decade. That honour falls to arcade machines, released only a few years later, developed and distributed originally in Japan. One in particular, Space Invaders became astoundingly popular, more so in Japan than in the US. America did however have around 60,000 cabinets made and shipped off to arcades across the country. Not only that, but a large group of rip of machines went in to circulation along side the the official machines. And while the Space Invader craze swept the planet, gaming technology continued to develop further, and has hardly stopped since that great original era of gaming. 

Today, thousands of people indulge in a little bit opf light gaming daily, even myself. Technology and its gaming side have come a long way from where this industry began. BUt each game, like most thing in the world, starts and started and will start with one singular idea.


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