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Electronic Games – How Did it All Begin?

With gaming becoming more popular every day, do you ever find yourself wondering where it all began? What’s the history behind electronic video games? Gaming in general has an interesting history that dates back long before computers became so popular. Board games have been around for thousands of years but the first idea to discover a way to use games in conjunction with the television set took place in the 1950’s. Ralph Bauer is responsible for this unique idea and the invention of the “Brown Box” which later led to the invention of video console systems. He presented it to the television company called Magnavox, who also thought it was an excellent idea.

In 1971 Nolan Bushnell released the first commercial arcade video game. Although, the game was considered a great invention it was confusing to play and so it didn’t become very popular. Bushnell then formed the Atari Inc. which led to the introduction of Pong. Alan Alcorn and Bushnell joined forces and created this very successful arcade game which was introduced in 1972. This invention paved the way for commercial arcade games and set the home video game industry into motion with the creation of the home versions of Pong.

Based on Bauer’s “Brown Box prototype” from the 50’s the “Magnavox Odyssey” was also introduced to the public in 1972. At that time it was exciting but compared to today’s technology it would be considered primitive. It was not a very big hit because this type of technology still needed to be improved upon a great deal. The improvements were made and in 1978 the Atari 2600 home console system was making headlines with Space Invaders. There were also games being designed for the Apple II computer and TRS-80 during this time that were getting lots of attention.

Of course, between 1972 and 1978 there were several more successful commercial arcade games being designed and introduced to the public. Some of these included Tank, Gunfight, Night Driver, Breakout, Football and Space Invaders. The commercial arcade Space Invaders game was so popular that it inspired designers to create the home Atari 2600 allowing gamers to play in the convenience of their own homes.

By 1979 and throughout the 80’s, technology continued to improved greatly in the graphics department making it possible to create more hit video games that included Asteroids, Battlezone, Defender, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede, Tron, Star Wars, Dragon’s Lair and Street Fighter. All of these were designed for both commercial and home entertainment.

Throughout the 90’s and the first part of 2000 there were many more improvements made to games and computer systems which paved the way to the exciting and entertaining games that are available today. Pac-Man and Mario Brothers are still popular games that have been enhanced and turned into adventures that lead you through a variety of worlds and challenges.

Gaming has so much more to offer today than ever before. Not only are the gaming consoles designed with the latest technology that includes excellent graphics and precision control but the improvements made in computer systems and the Internet has opened up a whole new world of entertainment. You now have the ability to download games onto your computer, play free games online, join in on MMORPG’s and even play in tournament games with other gamers from all over the world. Electronic games have certainly come a long way from those first arcade games that set the gaming world in motion.