Gaming has become a huge part of our culture. From scandal to alleged mental health and well-being benefits, it has made a huge impact in the media. We live in an amazing time right now with near-lifelike graphics and production quality. Technology is improving at a rapid rate, and it's hard to imagine what will come next at times. However, it's also important to remember the humble beginnings of video games:
It all technically started with the "Brown Box" back in 1967, but it wasn't until a decade later in 1977 that home gaming really took off. Atari released the Atari 2600, which was a cartridge based system and the first of its kind. Though there were some major flops, Atari kickstarted home gaming with great classics such as Space Invaders and Pong.
Nintendo decided to up the ante with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the United States in 1985. Classics like Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sold millions of copies and are still played to this day.
This began the cycle of consoles being released every few years and companies releasing their own consoles to try and uncrown the king of the previous generation. Soon after came the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, Sony Playstation, Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast (RIP), etc.
The line of succession leads to modern consoles: Sony Playstation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, and Wii U. They've really grown up in the last 37 years. Current generation consoles boast amazing graphics and many are centered on online play.
Even ten years ago, online gaming wasn't where it is now. With the popularity of broadband, we're now able to play against people who are on the other side of the world like they're right next to you. This allows for a sense of community, worldwide connectivity, and camaraderie that we could have only dreamed of in the past.
Portable gaming has become increasingly more popular over the years, as well. The Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vita are the two of the heavy hitters. The real champion of the portable gaming war, however, are cell phones. You can play games online via your phone's browser as well as download games to your phone. Compared to the flip phones in the past, cell phones these days are on par with handheld portable consoles.
Oculus Rift immerses users in the game for a life-like experience. Even though there's a lot more work to be done, it's definitely pegged for success.
With the Atari 2600's success 37 years ago, we couldn't have imagined gaming as it is now. Playing better games with a device you can fit in your pocket with people on the other side of the planet seemed inconceivable then. Where do you think the state of gaming will be in 2051?