Midterm - Chapter 1

History of Gaming

Gaming and Computing

  • For as long as we've had computing devices, we've used them for games!
  • Computers dedicated to research and military were used for gaming — as far back as the 1940s.

Early Pioneers [1]

  • SEGA
    • Coin-Op Video Arcade Games
  • Mainframe Computers
    • University and Military Research

After the earliest electronic games that came about on early academic and military systems, they soon moved into arcades that became quite popular places where teens would hang out and play video games for hours, and during this time period, the varieties of games increased substantially, and the beginnings of several genres of games started here, such as top-down shooters. The arcades were superseded by the home consoles and computer systems, and then both were hit hard by the video game slump of the early 80s. Although arcades did not really recover, consoles took off again, primarily with the Nintendo NES and the Sega Master System, and later the Super NES and Sega Genesis. Other, less successful platforms such as the Phlilips CDi and the 3DO, before the Playstation came out and then the current big three console makers, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, became the only serious contenders in the console market.

The market for computer games also expanded as home computers became popular, such as the Apple II and Commodore 64, and provided an easy base for programmers to make and distribute games to, such as Zork, Ultima, Wizardry, King's Quest, and others. In the online side, games like MUDs(Multi-User Dungeons) became the simple, text-only precursors of games including Meridian 59, Ultima Online, Everquest, Asheron's Call, and World of Warcraft. The other popular side of online games, the first-person shooters had to await the advance of computing technology making the development of games like Doom possible, before multiplayer games of this type, such as Quake were possible.

In all cases, as processing power increased, so too did the complexity of the games possible, as well as the level of detail in the graphics. From the simplest vector-based graphics and text games to highly-detailed 3D environments, such as seen in many popular modern games.

Instructor's comments: This page is VERY WELL organized and cited. However, it is somewhat weak as it only captures a fraction of what the chapter is about.

1. Chapter 1 - Powerpoint
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