These days, itâ??s hard to imagine what people used to do for entertainment.
Maybe they used to play a bit of croquet if the weather was good for it but apart from that they probably just sat around in silence. Today we have so many machines and gadgets to help us while away our spare hours, that simply passing time is becoming an enjoyable hobby in itself. At the heart of this are video games.
The history of video games goes back to 1967 when the Brown Box was introduced to the world by German television engineer Ralph Baer. This aptly named machine was capable of playing various games, including ping pong, checkers, target shooting and a golf putting title. To choose a game, you would follow a set of instructions on a program card, which would show you which switches on the front of the machine needed flipping to make your selection.
Computers came around long before video games and consoles and, unfortunately, when these new developments were released, they were simply lumped in with the rest of the computing market and were instantly thought of as geeky and uncool. This led to a self-fulfilling prophecy, where video games became popular just with geeky and uncool people who used the technology for their own means. The videogames market began to alienate other potential consumers with tasteless titles such as Custerâ??s Revenge, Catfight and Leisure Suit Larry.
Heal and Grow
Thankfully, someone in the industry realised the potential of video games and slowly more titles were developed to entice a wider more diverse audience. Today we have lots more games that are aimed at children, women, middle aged men and many other niche markets, including very specific audiences such as dog lovers. Even pensioners are being encouraged to start gaming with the release of several brain training titles.
Portable Gaming and Online Gaming
The video games industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. Recent developments have seen portable gaming become just as much a part of the market as consoles. There has also been a huge leap forward on the number of games that you can play online. Now, a game almost isnâ??t worth buying unless you can play online.
Download and Play
The next step in video games is already here, itâ??s just in the process of catching on. The current and growing trend is for video games to be released online where consumers can download them straight to their console and play.
So there you have it – an evolution of video games. Today, the market is so big that even if you justÂ sell old computer gamesÂ you can still make a decent living, however, when it all started things were a little different.
Michael Edmondstone is a freelance personal finance and technology writer.