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Researching of History of Video Games


Video games refer to leisure activities conducted using electronic machines, mainly involving manipulating images produced by a computer program available on a monitor or any other form of display. Most youths and a good number of the population are currently fond of video games, and hence, the need to understand the history of the concept remains fundamental. The research aims to analyze the history and evolution of video games, utilizing the existing studies in providing details on the practice.

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Tracing the Origin of Video Games

The emergence of video games traces back to the early 1950s when computer scientists were beginning to design simple games mainly meant for recreation or research purposes (Wolf 22). In 1960, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had students and professors playing games such as “the 3D tic-tac-toe” and “moon landing” on computers, and moves were made by punch cards (Dubey 6). The games were available on computers such as IBM 1560 (Ivory). However, video games were not widely practiced during the time.

Evolution and Advancement of Video Games

Video Games in the 1950s to Early 1990s

It was until the 1970s and 1980s that video games started gaining popularity. Within the period, there were various advancements. The developments included the emergence of video arcade games and video game consoles that used joysticks, buttons, and other forms of controllers for the manipulation of images (Ivory). Graphic availability on computer screens was also designed during the time (Chapman). Also, various home computer games were accessed by most members of the general public.

The introduction of the popular game called “PONG” coincided with various clones. The mainframe computer games were also introduced in the 1970s. Arcade games came to the limelight between 1978 and 1982 (Wolf). Video arcades had large graphics with decorations and were operated by coins. Such devices had gained popularity in malls and were operated by various persons (Dubey). Due to affordable home consoles, individuals were also able to play video games on the TVs.

The second generation of game consoles emerged between 1976 and 1992. Between 1983 and 1995, the third generation of consoles occurred, replacing the 2-G. The emerging devices were 8-bit units further in the 1990s (Ivory). However, the arcades resurged and started being declined (Chapman). The fall stimulated the transition to 3-D video games, hence leading to the improvement of computer gaming and could be held by hands.

Video Games in the Modern Era (Late 1990s up Date)

Between 1993 and 2006, the emergence of the 32-bit and 64-bit units of the fifth generation consoles. This was the era where mobile phone gaming emerged. From 1998-2003 the sixth generation of consoles emerged, and it is also in this period that online and mobile phone gaming became a significant aspect of the norm of video games (Spring). From 2005 to 2012, the seventh generation of consoles emerged (Dubey). The era led to the emergence of massive developments, including the development of cinematic graphics such as the Wii console, which had users control the video games with real-life movement of controllers. It is in this era also that cloud computing was introduced in video gaming.

In 2013, the eighth generation console emerged, which included “Nintendo’s Wii.” With the continued growth in digital distributions, PC gaming has developed a significant market share in Asia and Europe over the years (Spring). The widespread use and need for smartphones worldwide have greatly influenced the development of mobile games (Chapman). The current portable devices can read a considerable number of both interested and disinterested individuals.

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In summary, the research has highlighted the history of video games, which dates back to the 1950s. With developments being made from Arcades to consoles, such games have currently developed up to the eighth generation. Because of the continued expansion in technology, it is expected for further actions also arise as time advances. The practice is likely to advance in the future as technological transformation continues in the sector.

Works Cited

Chapman, Adam. Digital Games as History: How Videogames Represent the Past and Offer Access to Historical Practice. Routledge, 2016.

Dubey, Rachit, et al. “Investigating Human Priors for Playing Video Games.” ArXiv Preprint ArXiv: 1802.10217, 2018.

Ivory, James D. “A Brief History of Video Games.” The Video Game Debate: Unravelling the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Digital Games, Routledge New York, NY, 2015, pp. 1–21.

Spring, Dawn. “Gaming History: Computer and Video Games as Historical Scholarship.” Rethinking History, vol. 19, no. 2, Taylor & Francis, 2015, pp. 207–221.

Wolf, Mark JP. Video Games Around the World. MIT Press Cambridge, MA, 2015.

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