Gaming is one of the fastest growing forms of entertainment today. Trends such as mobile devices and distribution digital models have opened up new audiences for video games.
The ’80s brought home and arcade gaming into the mainstream with popular titles like Pac-Man and Mario. The development of bit technology allowed for higher graphics, bringing games to life with pixelated spaceships and other characters.
The Birth of Gaming
Gaming was born in the 1950s as a technological oddity at a science fair. Since then, it has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry with a mobile technology boom that has exploded the number of gamers worldwide.
Computer scientists began designing games as simulations as early as the 1950s. These included Tennis for Two, Tic-Tac-Toe and 3D draughts.
In the late 1970s and 1980s, a video game boom led to numerous companies producing consoles and home computers. However, a glut of products eventually led to the 1983 North American video game crash.
The Space Invaders Boom
Gaming has grown from a niche entertainment activity to a multi-billion industry that includes 2.7 billion gamers. It generates more revenue than movies and sports combined, making it one of the most popular media in the world.
The success of Space Invaders signaled a shift in Gk8 gaming. Nishikado redesigned the game with new gameplay features and an emphasis on high scores that would define future video games.
His fresh approach also helped revive the home console market after a glut of Pong clones drove manufacturers to slash prices and even shut down.
The Video Game Crash
In the early 1980s the US was suffering an economic recession. As such consumers were more careful with how they spent their money, including on leisure activities like gaming.
To make up for this, video game developers rushed games to market and cut development cycles as much as possible. As a result the market became oversaturated with poor quality games, or as gamers have dubbed them, shovelware. People started to see that video games weren’t worth the money and shifted their attention to home computers, which were more versatile and could be used for work as well as entertainment.
The Early Years of Computer Gaming
Playing a video game on a dedicated gaming console, PC or smartphone is called gaming. Gaming is a global industry worth more than double that of Hollywood blockbusters.
Participants described gaming as a form of entertainment that can be both social and isolating. They reported that games are modeled after gambling principles, in which prizes like loot or better characters are awarded for gameplay.
The early years of computer gaming saw a rise in home computers that competed with video game consoles. Computers, such as Radio Shack’s TRS-80, Apple II and Commodore 64 allowed people to type in their own BASIC code and create games and programs.
The Rise of Multiplayer Gaming
Video games took on a new life as multiplayer experiences. Multiplayer gaming was made possible by the introduction of higher performing computer hardware that allowed games to be designed as simulations. This was the birth of first-person shooters, which have become one of the most popular game genres worldwide.
Persistent online worlds or massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) took the social aspect of gaming to the next level, creating opportunities for players to interact and build friendships across virtual landscapes. MMOs blurred the lines between gaming and real-life as friends formed guilds and in-game economies.
The Mobile Technology Boom
Gaming has entered the mobile age with a huge boom in app downloads. Games on mobile phones are simpler in nature, often supported by microtransactions and ad revenue but they are also highly addictive with games such as Angry Birds bringing in massive earnings.
However, the onset of new technology also enabled game graphics to become more movie-like and to create moods that can be immersive. These innovations prompted people to start expressing concerns that violent games might make kids callous and more prone to real-life violence.
The Future of Gaming
Gaming is a popular pastime worldwide. It can be played on a dedicated gaming console, a PC or a mobile phone. The gamer is referred to as a “gamer”.
Many gamers have become addicted to games. This can lead to the player ignoring his or her personal life and becoming isolated from society. Some games feature random rewards, which some people equate with gambling.
In the future, gaming will continue to evolve. The technology used to develop video games has radically improved. The graphics are now almost movie-like. The ability to play with others online has also increased the popularity of gaming.