History of Video Games Essay

3255 Words Apr 25th, 2013 14 Pages
To fully understand the importance of video games you need to take a look at all angles. Video games have been around for years and have impacted us more than you can imagine. From the very first prototype, to the futuristic simulations we have today, video games have changed the world as we know it. The video game industry is at an all time high. Video games are no longer a form of entertainment for few, but a world-wide phenomenon for people of all ages joining in on the fun. Consoles have a very long history; from the very start passionate people have been hard at work to make the industry what it is today. There are also guidelines that all video game companies must abide by as well, so it’s not all fun and games. A video game is …show more content…
Games have since progressed into visual, interactive pieces of art; they are no longer about pure entertainment, but also about telling stories and teaching valuable lessons (Getler, n.d.).
On January 25, 1947 a man by the name of Thomas J. Goldsmith Jr. filed a patent for a device called the Cathode-Ray Tube. This device was made from 8 vacuum tubes to simulate a missile firing at a target; it used 2 knobs to adjust the curve and speed of the missile. Since computer graphics did not exist at the time, targets were drawn on an overlay and place over the screen (Herman, 2008).
In the 1960’s, the majority of early computer games ran on University Mainframe Computers and were developed more as hobbies than anything else. In 1961, a group of students from MIT, made a title called Spacewar! on a DEC PDP-1. Spacewar! is credited as the first widely available and influential computer game ever made (Herman, 2008).
The 1970’s & 1980’s were known as the Golden Age for arcade games. Many games started to show up on the computer as well as in the arcades. Atari was founded in 1972 and the first arcade game with widespread success was Atari’s PONG. The arcade industry found its success in 1978 with the release of Space Invaders by Taito, a success that influenced many people to join the arcade band wagon. Atari released Asteroids the same year. Color arcade games became popular in 1979-1980 with the arrival of Pac-Man (Herman, 2008).

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