Video games are now an undisputed mainstream success. People of all ages, from childhood and well into adulthood play all kinds of video games. And best of all, the gaming industry has a little something for everyone.
If you are looking for a deeply intricate strategy game, there are options. If you just want to blow off steam and shoot the bad guys, Call of Duty, Modern Warfare, and CS: GO have you covered. And if a more emotionally complex, independent game is what you need, the indie gaming market has never been better.
For smartphone users, mobile gaming has never been better. Whether you want to play puzzle games or dabble in tower defense. Even the RPG genre has attained massive success in the mobile market. And of course, mobile gambling has never been more popular.
And speaking of gambling, nowadays iGaming is a huge part of the gaming industry. For those who don’t know, iGaming refers to any and all forms of online gambling. So, whether you want to play blackjack online, spin a few rounds of slots, or test your poker skills, you can do so.
But, video games were not always this popular. So, in this article, we would like to take a look at the history of video games and the gaming industry, and see just how did we get where we are now?
The First Game
The history of gaming is quite complex. Many argue about what it means to be a video game, what gaming entails, etc. For our part, we are going to take a simple approach to the problem. In this article, we will define a video game as any game that you can play digitally, whether against an AI or other players.
From that perspective, many might consider the first game to be Pong. The familiar classic sees two vertical lines slide up and down the screen, passing a ball to each other, similar to a game of ping Pong. However, while there is no denying that Pong was among the first successful video games, there is some debate to be had about its status as the first video game ever.
Many consider Josef Kates’ 1950 invention Bertie the Brain, to be the first video game of all time. So, what is Bertie? Bertie the Brain is a massive computer, that Josef Kates programmed to play a familiar classic, Tic-Tac-Toe.
He first unveiled the machine at the Canadian National Exhibition, much to the delight of the Canadian population, and any tourists who could challenge the machine to a game. But still, Tic-Tac-Toe is not much of a game. And even if Bertie the Brain was a smash hit, it wasn’t what made the gaming world billions.
In the 1980s, Namco released one of their most successful arcades to this day, Puck Man. To an American audience, the name Pac-Man might sound a bit more familiar. The little yellow circle running around a maze eating tokens was hugely successful, generating $1 billion in its first year of release.
The success of Pac-Man created a massive demand for other, similar Arcade Games. Inevitably, this led to the rise of the arcade stores, where children would spend hours playing games like Tekken, Metal Slug, and Street Fighter II. And speaking of which…
The Origin of eSports
It was within these arcades that the first video game tournaments got their start. Not much organization went into it in those early days. Arcade store owners would organize gaming tournaments for some miniscule reward.
No game in the competitive arcade scene got as much attention as Street Fighter II. In large part, we have SFII to thank for the rise of eSports, which has been growing in popularity. In fact, gaming’s success in general can, at least partly, be attributed to these competitive events.
Nowadays, the gaming industry is larger than ever. And many people are discovering new ways to monetize their love of gaming. Whether it be game reviews, Twitch streaming, or professional gaming, many have succeeded in living out their childhood fantasies of “getting paid to play.”
Not only that, but the video game industry is now a multi-billion-dollar business, generating enough buzz to rival film and music. Many believe that the future of gaming is going to shine even brighter, thanks to the developments in AI, VR, and AR.