Tuesday, 2 November 2010

History of Gaming.. (50's-70's)

I absolutely love the idea of using blogger to write out our game studies, it’s relaxing and eases the pressure of essay writing. Game Art for the win eh?

Moving on swiftly, this blog entry is going to cover the earliest concepts and discoveries of our gaming culture. Way before our massively multiplayer online games and first person shooters, the origins of gaming lie in the 1940’s.  “The origin of video games lies in early cathode ray tube-based missile defence systems in the late 1940s” by Thomas T. Goldsmith, Jr. and Estle Ray Man.  This graphics based program uses vacuum tubes to stimulate a missile firing target and contains knobs to manoeuvre and adjust the curve and speed of the missile.

Not exactly Call of Duty is it? Playing a heated game of conkers has to be more entertaining than this.

These programmes were later then transformed and adapted into other games within the 1950’s and 60’s, these games or ‘interactive graphical programs’ were created on the TX-0 machine, and these were:
  • · Mouse in Maze
  • · HAX
  • · Tic-Tac-Toe
Wait, isn’t tic-tac-toe noughts and crosses? Programmers imaginations were either completely fruitless and dull, or more likely, the technology at the time suppressed their massive imaginations into making tic-tac-toe. Poor guys, I’d love to see what they think of technology and game engines in the 21st century.

But then oh boy, things started heating up.

The ‘Golden age of video arcade games’ erupted during the 1970’s, and what kicked it all off? Pong. This bad-boy was as addictive as crack-cocaine and although had a very simple design, it was loosely based on table tennis and Atari had sold 19,000 pong machines. I find this amazing, truly remarkable how only 30 years ago, a black and white game based on tennis practically transformed the concept of video games completely, and more importantly it was addictive and competitive. 

In 1972, the ‘Taito Corporation’ created what was going to be the most instantly recognizable trademarks of gaming culture, as well as gaming as a whole. Space Invaders. It was one of the forerunners in the early gaming industry, and helped turn the industry into a global success. I find that ‘Space invaders’ was one of the most significant points in gaming history, due to its playability and that the pixelated enemy alien has become a pop culture icon, as it represents video games as a whole.

Although, I’ve never played any of these games to the extent I would play Halo, WoW or any other modern day game, I still understand the crucial success these initial games needed to set the foundations, and underpin the basis on which we create our games today.