Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The Evolution of Awesome

So after hearing me ramble the first time you’ve really decided to click on that link and hear me again eh? I like this. Anyways; I’ll keep it short and sweet this time as I know we’re all busy being tortured by a lovely little program... so this blog is my take on the history of video gaming...the evolution of AWESOME!
Way back when COD and Fallout 3 (or the better) Mario and Sonic were just a pixilation of a dream lies the origins of the video game. This was back in the 1940’s “The origin of video games lies in early cathode ray tube-based missile defense systems in the late 1940s” (Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_and_video_games - accessed 19/10/2010) Such programmes were later adapted into other simple games during the 1950’s although it wasn’t until 1971 that the first commercially viable video game Computer space was released. In the 1940’s the Cathode Ray /tube Amusement Device was filed on Jan 25 1947 and because computer graphics could not be drawn electronically at the time, overlays were placed on the screen to give simple scenes. So here we are at the conception of the video game (ewww) and as it took its first steps during the 1950’s it progressed visually initially via a number of games run on university computers in the USA, usually developed by individuals as a hobby. A collection of graphical programs assisted this, and the list of games below were created on the TX-0 machine at MIT:
·         Mouse in the maze
·         HAX
·         Tic Tac Toe
·         Spacewar!
Ralph Baer who refined his initial ideas into a four page document for an interactive video game machine developed the first video game console in 1966. Working with colleague Bill Harrison, the simple Chase was the first to run on a standard television set. In 1968 a final prototype was created and by 1969, they were showing the world’s first video game system to manufacturers.
Moving onto the seventies, there was disco, there were jumpsuits and oh yeah there were games! This is known as the golden age of videogames: with the rise of arcade machines, home computers, consoles and even handheld games.
In 1971 the Galaxy Game (based on Spacewar!) was installed at a student union at Stanford Univ. becoming the first coin operated video game system. An arcade version was also created and manufactured on a grand scale. This is a landmark in video gaming history as it was the first mass-produced video game offered for commercial sale.
During the 1970’s a video game as addictive as most class As was also conceived...
“Undoubtedly one of the most influential video games of all time is Pong” – (Railton 2005)
In vented by Nolan Bushell, Pong was simply a concept to test out one of Atari’s first ever employees (Allan Alcorn). He was duped into thinking Atari had received a brief to create a game based on table tennis. At first, no one recognised the appeal of Pong with its hit the ball....save the ball technique; but suddenly a mundane (slightly tweaked) idea had become an addictive masterpiece that required actual skill to master.
Finally recognising its appeal, Bushnell installed a Pong machine in a rundown bar and straight away the game proved popular. “From that point Atari’s future was secure and Pong machines sprung up all over the place” – (Railton 2005). Between 1974 and 1983 there were over 300 versions of Pong or Pong imitations (rip offs!) created for over 200 machines.
Even today, Pong can still be an addictive gaming experience and defined as a work of genius.
So after all that research I just have one question left...
So why were video games created? Who and why made it so I have no life?*
*PN: I am a gamer...I have many lives
Well looking through all the research I have to give it to Ralph Baer -
“In 1966, while sitting bored at a bus stop, Ralph Baer rekindled his idea for an interactive video ‘game’ machine.” (Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_and_video_games - accessed 19/10/2010)
BORED??? Tell me guys what do most of us do when we’re bored? Poke people? Search for belly button treasure? Mess with that Ouija board? I personally (failing making a sandwich) crack on the Xbox and kick some ass! So the next time you’re bored playing on that Xbox or Ps3...Just think...that’s where it all began...the Evolution of AWESOME!
PS: for those of you who want to see what i used to write this shizz - see below...i really recommend the Railton book it's awesome as well as the videos by the Angry Video Game Nerd as they are really entertaining but also give quite the insight into some amazing retro games (god knows i love 'em) :)
Railton, J (2005) the A to Z of Cool Computer Games, London, Allison & Busby Ltd.
PONG [no date] Pong Video Game History - Invention of the Pong Video Game [WWW] Availiable from http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/pong.html
Rolfe, J (2010) Pong Consoles (video) [WWW] Availiable from
Wikipedia (2010) The History Of Video Games http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_computer_and_video_games


  1. awesome job Amy, you've got off to a good start with this blog stuff.

  2. yay! thankyou it's good to know i've got at least one of my subjects down as max is giving me hell at the moment...I've never been to Johnny North although my older bro and sis went there. I went South Wigston High, then Guthlaxton & Leicester college. x