Gaming as an artform has evolved and changed over the years from the first tentative steps of Pong to the advent of multi-billion dollar franchises like Call of Duty and Halo. We at IMPACT GAMING want to share with you the greatest moments of video gaming. These events have not only shaped the whole industry’s rise to where it is today, and what it will look like in the future, but also has affected the way that people live.
Although Pong wasn’t the first video game, it was right in the early years of video game innovation. Pong stepped into the unknown with a gamble that determined the direction gaming would take for the next couple of years. It proved to be a massive success and people could not get enough of it; some were queuing for hours to play. With Pong’s popularity came enormous amounts of arcade bars that began to spread around the world, proving the first big stage in gaming’s growth.
Arcade Gaming (1970s-1980s)
With Pong going strong, there was to be another massive game that would hit the world: Space Invaders. It became a massive cultural phenomenon and a global icon that established the industry in the mindset of millions; the pixelated alien became a pop culture icon of the time. Arcade bars appeared in almost every city in the US. In 1980 the Pacman craze helped the game to be among those select few that almost everyone will recognise, even if they’re not gamers themselves.
Home Consoles (1970s- )
Taking the most popular games from the arcades and placing them in your living room was the obvious next step for the industry. Most gamers have since had a gaming console at least once in their lives. There are more consoles in peoples’ homes than ever before and they have become an essential part of our daily lives by also becoming cutting edge multi-media centres. Soon enough, there will be a new generation in the form of the Xbox One and the Playstation 4.
Portable Gaming (1989- )
Although home gaming was a big step in the development of gaming, an even bigger step was the release of the Gameboy, Nintendo’s first handheld console in 1989. Gameboy allowed users to play different games by changing cartridges and playing likes of Mario, Zelda and Tetris. It also allowed users to add plenty of peripherals such as the Gameboy Printer and the Gameboy Camera; massive innovations at the time. Such was its impact that if you were growing up in the 90s then you either had one of these or knew someone who did. Portable gaming today can be seen in handheld consoles such as Nintendo’s 3DS and the PlayStation Vita. In addition, one of the most notable markets is smartphone gaming, which has exploded onto the scene with hits such as Angry Birds and Temple Run.
Personal Computers (1950s- )
Personal computers have changed how we live our lives like nothing ever before. With every advance in the world of computers, such as increased processing power and storage, gaming has also profited. Each year, games are looking better and more realistic, offering new exciting ways to play.
Interactive gaming (2003-)
Developments in gaming are now moving in the direction of virtual reality: the ability to have unparalleled control via the use of your own bodies. Although the infamous Virtual Boy was one of the first to look at interactive gaming, it was a massive flop and so we won’t count it as a game-changer. The EyeToy for PS2 in 2003 was another big step; later built on by Nintendo and the Wii and pushed into more areas of console gaming by Xbox Kinect and Playstation Move. Some of the most exciting news regarding VR currently is the development of Oculus Rift, which is a virtual reality system allowing you to see through the character’s eyes in first person.
1972- Atari’s Pong is released
1977- Atari introduces the first cartridge-based home console system Atari 2600.
1978- Atari introduces Space Invaders to the world
1980- Battlezone, the first 3D game, is released.
1985- Tetris is released.
1989- Nintendo introduces Gameboy.
1994- Playstation and Sega Saturn make their debut in Japan .
1998- Sega introduces Dreamcast.
2000- Sony PlayStation 2 is launched.
2001- Windows releases Xbox, their first gaming console together with Nintendo’s GameCube.
2005- Xbox 360 is released.
2006- Playstation 3 hits the shelves together with the Nintendo Wii which becomes one of the best-selling consoles to date.
2008- World of Warcraft reaches 10 million subscribers.
2013- Playstation 4 and Xbox One are announced.
Image Courtesy: Ian D, twilsie, Swiss James & Gage Skidmore