From the humble beginnings in 1950 to the rise of gaming consoles in 1970s, from the tennis game ‘Pong’ with a gameplay comprising of 3 Dots to the ‘The Magnavox Odyssey’ (World’s first gaming console), the journey has been a long one but definitely an entertaining one. The gaming industry has provided life-long entertainment to billions of its consumers. It was an instant success, The Magnavox Odyssey became very popular and sold 300,000 units in a jiffy. Following its success Atari saw huge potential in the market and made game cartridges, now consumers had the choice of playing many games at the comfort of home. The new technology attracted many and as expected, the industry made huge profits. Atari ended up selling 25 Million units of its console, gaming became a success in the 1970s and it gained popularity very quickly.
The gaming industry provided an escape to the people, as most of the countries were suffering from recession in the 1970s. The period of economic stagnation served as a major cause of depression among the masses. This is where gaming came into the picture, it provided escapism to the people. The gaming industry showed its magic, it acted as a cure to the worries of the masses. It was a source of entertainment so interactive that the consumers forgot all about the great recession and their daily struggles. Soon after Atari released its first console, investors saw huge opportunities in the gaming industry and hence the first bloom began. In 1983 Japan introduced its world famous family computer also known by its popular name ‘The Nintendo Entertainment System’. It came with iconic games such as ‘Super Mario Bros’ which remain a hit to this day. After a couple of years it took the world by a storm, soon Super Mario took over shelves all over the world and especially in the United States of America. No one knew that these retro games would remain in the hearts of the people forever. To this day it triggers nostalgia in the minds of many gamers. We all have played Super Mario at least once growing up, may it be on our PCs or gaming arcades. It has served as pure entertainment for decades and will keep on doing so.
The gaming industry had established its base, now the concern was to enhance its mobility. This thought led to the advent of Nintendo’s Gameboy, soon mobile gaming became the new cool. If you owned a Gameboy, you were probably considered the coolest kid of the neighborhood. That combined with the new ‘Digi-Drug Tetris’ game, Nintendo took over the gaming industry by a storm and went on to sale 118 Million units of the Gameboy. 1990s gave us the gift of First Person Shooter games such as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake. Nintendo ruled over the gaming industry for years until, in 2000 when Sony released its first iconic PlayStation. It led to a new era of gaming, Sony set the foundations of modern gaming with release of the PlayStation. Improved visuals and innovations led to the improvement of gaming as a whole. Better graphics and gameplay enhanced the entertainment level, gaming took over the globe by a storm. The year 2000 began with hit games such as The Sims, Counter-Strike, Command & Conquer Red Alert 2, Hitman Codename 47 and Deus Ex. This offered the consumer realism and hence a new dawn of gaming was on the verge.
As the industry grew, the trends kept on changing. Games like SimCity soon outran the popular violent games, during this era another major success were the open world games. Combined with multiplayer modes, this lead to an air of competition and interactive socialization. Games were no longer limited to entertainment but also served as a medium of communication. This attracted the non-gamers as well and the industry kept on thriving. A new millennia, new goals and changed focus led to enhancement of graphics and physics. Ground breaking games such as GTA III, Max Payne, Devil May Cry and Crazy Taxi 2 were released in 2001. I mean who doesn’t remember those endless hours of playing these games, open world and FPS games were all about adventure. That afterschool excitement and impatience to reach our homes as quickly as possible so we could play our favorite games. I remember when a friend of mine introduced my Grand Theft Auto: Vice City in 2002, and that game was all I could think about. Gaming industry has served the masses for decades and truly entertainment would’ve been incomplete without it.
As Technology advances rapidly, the gaming experience keep on getting more immersive and definitive. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have taken gaming to a whole new level. I wonder will games replace the real world one day. What surprises does the gaming industry hold in future? No doubt that the future of gaming will expand the physical and mental dimensions of gaming. As players use their physical actions to play the game and control the movements and physics of their characters. Gamers are no longer just players, but are a community with one mutual goal. To take entrainment and thrill to the maximum. The gaming industry has been evolving ever since its advent and it will lead to many good things in the future as it has done in the past.