Friday, 10 October 2008

The Brief History Of This Magical Thing Called Games!! 1950 - 1970

There had been very little advances in couch entertainment since the Wireless and Television but two men ( Thomas T.Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann) didn't realise at the time the future what lay in store for the device they just patented simply as 'the Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device' which is quite a mouthful and hardly fitting title for the machine that was to introduce the idea of computers as fun devices and revolutionise home entertainment.

It started in 1947 and was laughable compared to today's graphics produced on the likes of objects a tenth the the size of the monster machine who's graphics consisted of a crude overlay placed onto the screen but nevertheless it was a start.

By 1951 things had started moving in the right direction and a British computer scientist tried and failed to run a program on a inferior computer that lacked the memory to handle his computer version of the popular board game 'droughts' which to a degree i would of been glad of because i honestly cannot stand the game :) but to my disappointment apparently a computer in Manchester was created with enough memory to run a more efficiently coded version of the game.

From this point on the advancements were full steam ahead as machines increasingly got more powerful yet still fairly pathetic compared to even some pocket calculators of today's standards. With the likes of annoying games such as 'Tennis for Two' which allot of people would argue was the first real video game, others would argue that OXO ( a simple tic - tac -toe game) was the first and seeing as OXO came first im incline to agree but then Tennis for Two was the first game where you had real real time control over a virtual object in this case it being the ball.

The 60's did bring one of the best innovations in gaming and was used up until recently this technology was the light gun which took interactivity to a whole new level in the 60's, as the Wiimote did here in the ermm i guess 2010's and was the first peripheral for a console as well as giving birth to the shoot em up arcade games in one sentence (because i cant say it in one word) thank you Ralph Baer for the light gun which gives me something to do during lunch breaks!! good old 'big bucks hunter'.

By the 70's the potential of video games was no longer limited to a few open minded scientists and the first companies started popping up most notably the former gaming giant 'Atari'. I say former because lets be fair they and Sega got out muscled in fact I'm surprised Nintendo held on so well and held there ground against the likes of huge corporations like Microsoft and Sony.

The 70's is described as the golden age of gaming technology because everything moved on fast, graphics upgraded along with increasing pixels allowing figures and sprites to at least be slightly more recognisable than previous sprites which where basic primitives. Computers got more and more powerful and with this came games such as Air Warrior in which i think was a triumpth and under appreciated achievement in the games world as with out this cross network multiplayer may never have even been conceived. Air Warrior was the first real attempt at 3d graphics or at least the illusion of 3d with a clever use of what is essentially vector graphics all in all fair ahead of its time and this at least in my eyes is one of the main games that defined this decade and the advancements (i salute you Kelton Flinn and John Taylor for your vision and sheer ambition but mostly for giving me the the ability to virtually shoot and annoy real people online and not have a guilty conscience).

Thats all im going to continue on that i could go into all the games of the 50's to the 70's but lets be fair most of them were the same games just different graphics and titles then again there still doing that today with the likes of mass effect and gears of war!

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