In today’s world of hyper-realistic graphics it’s easy to forget that video games started off in science labs with graphics that were just green dots.
Back then it was hard to say, “Dude, sweet graphics!” with a straight face.
So, how did gaming evolve from research labs to digital kitties purchased for over $100,000 with cryptocurrencies? Let’s find out.
Here are 10 defining moments in gaming history:
1952– A British computer scientist named A.S. Douglas, creates the world’s first documented computer game called Noughts and Crosses, a tic-tac-toe game. A.S. Douglas officially becomes the first nerd to play a video game.
1958 – American physicist, William Higinbotham, creates what is widely considered to be the world’s first interactive video game, Tennis for Two. The game used an oscilloscope for a display and had a controller that changed the racket’s swing. By today’s standards it would be a snoozefest, but it was groundbreaking at the time. Tennis for Two would later inspire what most people know as the first video game, Pong.
1968 – Ralph Baer, known as the ‘Father of video games,’ creates the “brown box,” which would turn into the Magnavox Odyssey, the world’s first home video game console. Atari was not the first to market, but they would soon crush.
1972 – Pong and Atari – Nolan Bushnell and Al Acorn create the world’s first commercially successful video game, Pong. The first machine was tested in Sunnyvale, CA and it broke. From too many quarters being jammed into it.
1977 – Nolan Bushnell and Atari release the hugely successful Atari 2600 home console. It introduces millions of people to video games and such hits as Pitfall, Missile Command, Pac Man, Centipede and more. This was also the origin of mom’s everywhere saying, “Go outside! It’s so nice out!”
1985 – Originally founded in 1889 as a trading card company, Nintendo gained worldwide fame in 1985 when they launched the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) arguably the best video game console of all time spawning such classics as Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. The NES is credited with reviving the dying home video game market and also creating millions of new video game fans.
2000 – The Sims – It wasn’t the first simulation game, but it did become the best-selling video game ever and for our evolutionary study purposes, it was the most popular game of all time with female gamers. It was like the first digital reality show. “Oh my God, can you believe that sim character, Agnes Crumplebottom cheated on her husband with Addison Rush!”
2007-2008 – The iPhone is released and our thumbs are instantly glued to a shining, blue light. The iPhone introduces millions of more new players to mobile video games. And in 2008, the app store is launched. It changes mobile gaming forever and becomes the last time anyone looks up to see where they’re walking.
2016 – Pokemon Go, an augmented reality game, is released and for several months, no public place was safe from rampaging teenagers and adults alike, risking their lives and those around them to snag a rare Snorlax or a Mewtwo in the wild.
2017 – CryptoKitties are launched and become an overnight sensation. With roots in video games you could argue, that the pet rock was the grandfather to CryptoKitties, which are digital kittens you can buy, collect and breed. As humans and A.I. continue to merge, one hundred hundred years from now, future generations might have some CryptoKitty in their DNA.
So, what do you think is next for video games? Video games linked in our heads? Real wars fought like Fortnite? Real life just becomes a video game entirely as Elon Musk has told us it already is? Tell us on Twitter.