Sunday, 19 October 2008

Gaming evolves

Following numerous amounts of links saturated with dates, names and numbers, so far all I have managed to produce is a headache.

I feel like a bit of a fraud trying to write about something I have no knowledge of apart from the writings of other people if that makes sense. Maybe thats why I don't like learning about history, it would be better if I had been there and not just have to look through piles of text books, not that I don't find it interesting though.
Moving swiftly on.
The early eighties saw the introduction of 'pac-man' designed as a break from the many shoot-em-ups, it took on a cartoon style that game designer Moru Iwatani hoped would appeal as much to women as to men. Extremely popular in Japan, it was the first video game to produce merchandise en masse. Back on the computer, the adventure genre renamed "interactive fiction" was proving popular. Based on novels, actions were made using text commands and no graphics! just the power of your imagination, dun dun duuun....
These died out and made way for point-and-clicks with graphic interfaces as seen in the 90's puzzle adventure 'Myst'. I think I got stuck on that, now I feel stupid.
Anyway, these years saw other genres begin to emerge such as the scrolling shooter and racing games, not forgetting the progression of audio in games which plays a large part in creating atmosphere nowadays.

The most popular formats in the early eighties were the 'Commodore 64' in America and 'Sinclair ZX Spectrum' in the UK which would eventually give way for capabilities of higher resolutions and better sound, which are still continual improvements being made today and in the future. A cheaper alternative to these formats was the emergance of handheld games, starting with Nintendo's 'Game & Watch' in 1980 and then their popular 'Gameboy' in 1989.

ZOMGXPLOSION! ......yup, that was the videogame crash of 1983, all because of the rubbish game that was 'E.T. the extra-Terrestrial', well maybe just a part of it. A couple of years later the NES arrives, along with it the blueprint for all controllers produced thereafter; it consisted of a D-pad and two action buttons. More genres emerged as a result, and some of the most popular games series such as 'Final Fantasy' (RPG), 'Legend of Zelda', 'Metal Gear' (stealth) and 'Sweet Home' (survival horror) which admittedly, I've never heard of.
The 90's introduced internet gaming with multiplayer capable games and simple browser-based games whereas coin-operated arcades were on the downfall as people just waited for them to be available on consoles instead. Later on in the decade, Sonys playstation arrived as the main competitor for all consoles at that time. CD format was now the norm, apart from the 'Nintendo 64' which was still a success but none quite so as the Playstation.

Ps. I forgot to put 'Sims' in somewhere....Sims ftw.