Monday, 19 October 2009

History of computer video games: Part 2 1980-1990

The 1980’s began with a significant shift- one that took games out of the arcade and into the comfort of our homes. The gaming industry had started developing games along the lines of which we are now familiar with today.

By the time the 80’s had come along ‘Space Invaders’ had already been brought into the arcades, another addition to the ‘space’ theme that seemed to be reoccurring with games since the introduction of ‘Spacewar’ which originally appeared in 1962.However significantly new genres started to appear, such as ‘Pacman’ – the 80’s maze, ‘Frogger’ – the 81’st, ‘Donkey Kong’ – also in the 81’st, the platform game. Donkey Kong, not only an amazing game itself, had bred a ‘still to date’ legendary character, Mario. He was in ALL the Donkey Kong games, but was known then as ‘Jumper man’.

1983 was here and so was Mario, AND his brother Luigi, in arcades everywhere; and by ’85 the platform video game, developed by Nintendo, was published for the NES, Nintendo Entertainment System, as part of a sequel to the ’83 game of the brothers. Mario himself is now played on all consoles, and has upgraded from 2D into 3D in the year of 1995; but I am sure that we will always remember him as the 2D character from the NES – Nintendo’s own mascot, Mario.

It’s not only genres that have change in the years, but the graphics as well; from being incredibly pixelated in 1950, to almost realistic now, we could argue the fact, whether games are getting better as they improve, or worse! I feel that games are almost getting harder to escape from reality (don’t get me wrong, I think that it is ingenious how people have done this!), as graphics, sound, and complexity are to such a high quality. Whereas in ‘Space Invaders’ or ‘Pacman’, you are able to engage or disconnect yourself, if or when you get bored of the game, simply because they are barely related to real life. Are video games getting better as time goes by? I think so.

Getting of the subject here slightly.

In 1985 there started to be rivalry between arcades and home entertaining systems; it was only until the end of the 80’s that brought in the close of arcade gaming as home entertainment systems exceeded them.

I have just recently downloaded a free app to my iphone, it is called Vampires Live. It is a massively multiplayer online game which has missions, you have to build up your clan and become the strongest. On the app store it actually says “Turn your lowly vampire clan into the most powerful clan in the Vampires Live world!” I found this a massive incentive to do, as I downloaded it for free, I didn’t seem to mind. BUT you need Loyalty points to get anywhere on this, or you could wait almost an hour to get ‘energy points’ (3 minutes 59 seconds = 1 energy points, I have to get 15 energy points so 3.59x15=53.85). So I went to the app store to see how much they where, 60 loyalty points= £2.99, 140 loyalty points= £5.99, and 300 loyalty points= wait for it........................................ £11.99! Foolish me got sucked in, as I needed (wanted desperately) to get “stronger” and spent £2.99. I am still playing it but I am NOT paying for it. That is how they make the money. Free game, expensive points, I’d rather wait an hour thank you.

(This is a link to a cool 1980’s game site, where you can enjoy playing on your old favourites

Monday, 12 October 2009

A History Of Computer Games 1950-1970

In the year of 1952, A.S. Douglas created Tic-Tic-Toe, the very first graphical computer game; also known as Noughts and crosses- I didn’t know this- and he displayed his ingenious idea onto a 35 x 16 pixel screen. Obviously over time, computer graphics increased in sophistication, and it was only until 1981 that the first ever 3D game was released for a home computer system.

Until 1977, all games were played in arcades, but the Atari VCS 2600 games console changed that. People were able to play games in the comfort of their homes. I find that this is a revelation! It is important as it has enabled us to create a game for a longer duration than you would at an arcade; as you would have to constantly put money into a machine, whether it was to start a game, or continue it.

As a child of seven, the very first game I had ever played was “Cool Boarders” on Playstation one. I am honestly not one of the best gamers in history, or perhaps ever, but with this game, I thought I was amazing. I could go on story mode and play for hours, doing tricks and exploring the levels (which was honestly, not that many); but as it came to “free-styling” I got a few tricks right (because it showed the controls) but as it got on, I failed. Not being as good on games as I had hoped, it has almost “limited” the types of games I go on; not just that, but also genre, such as horror. I am able to watch others play scary games, but when it comes down to me, I get scared, it is like being in the game! Thankfully PS3 came out and along came Little Big Planet, my all time favourite game! I just love the way that everything, levels, items and Sackboy, are made from actual items and textures, and how everything reacts physically as it would in real life. I think this game is outstanding.