Wednesday, 15 October 2008

From Pong to Pac-man...continued

In this next instalment of the brief history of games we move onto what is known as the ‘middle’ history of games. To me the ‘middle’ history of games links quite closely to our Middle Age history in that it was slightly dull.

In the 1980s the availability of personal computers meant that multiplayer arcade games were being replaced with more interactive single player games. The most popular genre of the time was text-based adventure games. These games allowed players to type in commands and interact with the environment in a world of dungeons and dragons, heavily inspired by the fictional literature at that time.

However as technology advanced, games aimed to become more of a graphical experience. Machines such as the Sinclair ZX spectrum and Commodore 64 led to an increase in the production of games and new genres. Game producers also began to explore with more colours to offer a more visual experience.
However the machines came at a high price and so many companies went bankrupt in the industry crash of 1983. The crash shaped the face of the games industry as it brought attention to the poor quality of the games, that ultimately led to the fatal incident and so it made people think twice about the quality of their games.

And so the crash gave way to the birth of game icons such as the NES and the Sega system. Classic characters that we all know and love were created and video games were graphically improved. An interesting fact I came across was that the NES was the more popular console in America and Japan, whereas the Sega was more frequent in Europe and Australia, (you might not have found this interesting but I had always wondered why I had been brought up playing Sonic and not Mario).

This new generation of consoles had also changed the interaction with the games available as players could now use gamepads and joysticks for a more exciting game play.
Now for my personal instalment, as said (or typed rather) previously, my earliest memories of games was of the Sega Megadrive.

However my earliest memory of a computer game was probably playing Lemmings on this bulk of a laptop that my Dad had from work. But my more vivid memories were playing floppy disc games such as Prince of Persia and those godawful pixel perfect jumps. I wasn’t 9 until we bought a pc that would play CD-rom games and the only reason we bought it was so we could play a game that we won in a tombola called Populas : The Beginning, which til this day remains as one of my favourite games :P

Watch this space…

No comments: