Thursday, 21 October 2010

A History of Computer Games Part two: 1980's – 90's

Ahhhh I just realised the way I was undertaking the history was that I would talk about games in the 50's to the 70's, but I thought that meant 1950 – 1970 then this blog is 80's to 90' mistake so I will fill in those 10 years I missed as well all new access to mike's favourite period. This blog will be sooooooooooooooo long so apologies Mike. And all apologies to my English, I have been told I word sentences so weirdly so sorry, if you don't understand best just reread the sentence as if it was written by a child. The history of computer games is something I covered in college so this is pretty easy but ever so boring, I will try and make this as short as possible. Get a coffee, sit back and ready your eyedrops, could be a long 39 years.

The first interactive game playing device was the arcade machine, these consisted of a wooden panelled box often with colour artwork to advertise the game with joystick controls. Arcade machines are coin-operated so we can waste our money into the metal vaginas of machines.

Arcade Machines

1972 – Pong
Made by Atari and based on a game of table tennis, it first came out as a coin operated arcade machine, and then later in 1975 the first home console was released and started a new gaming generation. The only HCI component was the spinner knobs (I laugh everytime I write knobs) which moved clockwise and anti-clockwise (knobs that go clockwise and anticlockwise, must be my luck day) which represented up and down, although on some later versions a joystick was used instead. Limitations would be the graphics, sound. The amount of graphics is not much, the pixel raster lines, the only sound at this time was the feedback that the ball collided with the player's “bat”. Although as the first game it started the gaming generation.

1976 – Breakout
Another Atari arcade game, breakout consisted of using your paddle to bounce the ball into the blocks above. It had one knob and a button to set your ball off, games back then didn't have much creativity did they.

1978 – Football game
The first true sport arcade game, it’s a table top arcade machine, integrated fast action simulation and the first track ball and scrolling display. Why did they invent football games, worst most boring games ever.

1978 – Space Invaders
Made by Taito this arcade game became popular very quick. The object of the game is to shoot down all the aliens before they get to earth, in other words the you're a space ship, whoop whoop, the aliens move from left to right gradually increasing in speed and getting nearer the player. Raster display, black and white & colour overlay, single player, left and right buttons, fire button, blah blah blah blah.

1979 – Asteroids
The aim of the game is to shoot and destroy the asteroids and alien saucers. 1-channel sound, 3 buttons (left, right and thrust(lol)), two player, vector display.

1980 – Pac-Man
One of the most well know arcade titles, the player was a yellow dot with a triangle took out, the objective was to eat all the dots avoiding the ghosts and collect bonus items, also had 4 special dots within the maze that when eating, allowed the player to eat the ghost for a short period of time. Everyone knows the story of fuck-man these days so I won't bore you even more.

1980 – Defender
The player’s objective is to shoot down the aliens before they reach the “humanoids”, included multiple levels with boss mother ship battles. Maximum of two players, colour raster display,

1981 – Donkey Kong
Created by Nintendo it introduced characters Donkey Kong and Mario that would become gaming history. Colour raster display, Amp mono sound, four directional joystick and player 1 and player 2 buttons, jump button, player had to get to the top of the tilted frame by climbing ladders and jumping barrels to save the princess. As the difficulty increased fire enemies lay in your path, but also Mario got upgrades to help him. Single player setting or alternating two players. One of my favourite games even though I suck at it.

1981 – Frogger
1982 – Tron
1985 - Super Mario Brothers
1989 – Tail Gunner 2
1989 – S.T.U.N. Runner
1992 – Mortal Combat
The first beat ‘em up game, the side view perspective and Raster screen, consisted of multiple playable characters.
1992 – Virtual Racing

All sooo boring hence I stopped. Well basically arcade games were awesome and were widely more popular than the crap consoles, more social as well.


1972 – Magavox Odessey
1976 – Fairchild/Channel F
1982 – ColecoVision

1983 – Video Game Crash, well basically games were being produced left right and centre in mass amounts because they thought they would sell. But these games were just replicated after every title, there was no originality or anything and so people grew bored of consoles and computers rose into fashion. The industry took a step back and re-evaluated, actually trying to think of new games to produce for the public. There was a couple of years of dryness then games where back on track. Although today's games are reaching the same level as back in 1983, everyone is the same basic shite and so uninteresting and unoriginal, it's all just crap. But unlike back then our technology is growing and 3D TV is now introduced, it won't be long until robots are using our butts as input devices.

1985 – Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Nintendo made it's first introduction in the market, and with a brand new design for the HCI, it included a D-pad for movement instead of the joystick, and was made for both hands, it's design ran with the “box” style theme of the console itself, this new more thought out controller would make Nintendo a house hold name. Even though it's an early console it's large and there was a lot of flickering mainly cause a lot of things were hard to program.

1986 – Atari 7800
This console introduced inbuilt backwards compatibility. Also with added feature not shown in the 2600 and 5200 of pause, this including, power, reset and select button as well as a new high score feature.

1986 – Sega Master System (Sega Mark III)
This console brought Sega into the market, with a highly advanced clock speed for its time and good graphics, Sega set a name for itself. It adapted the design of the Nintendo game pad, which from here on in, would be the trend for controllers.

1989 – TurboGrafx-16 (TG16)
This console renews the cartridge to more sizeable “Turbochips” and introduced full motion videos into games and was hugely popular in Japan. This also seen the use of CD-ROM's as games, although still a separate part to add on to the console. An extra add on had to be bought for CD's to work and again size as well as poor graphic base.

1989 – SuperGrafx
The next edition after the TG16, but with no real technological advances. Just trying to make more money by dishing out the same crap again and again, sound like the games industry these days much?

1989 – Atari Lynx
Classified as the first true colour handheld console, a revolutionary idea and yet due to the lack of advertising it never overtook the games market. It had added features like brightness knob and volume knob and ran on 6 AA batteries. It's Auto-Off function was complained about as when the game was in pause it would go off and left the game unsaved, also it takes 6 AA batteries, making it large and with only a short lifespan or about 4 hours.

1990 – Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis)
I have this laying back at home but I love it, streets of rage and golden axe, my favourite games for this console but holy fuck I could never get past the last level in streets of rage, it's terrible. I was always the girl of course, I always pick the girl, not because of her pixel boobs but she was the best fighter in my opinion. BUT YOU COULDN'T SAVE YOUR DAMN GAME!!!!

1990 – Game Boy
Nintendo stole the market once again, even though unlike Atari Lynx, it had no colour, although a best selling handheld console, nothing is without its flaws, and with the large size and “grey” LCD screen it's obvious.

1991 – Atari Lynx II
Similar to it's predecessor but with a new look, Atari made sound and auto off adjustments to the lynx 2. This time Atari focused more on the marketing of the product, but even with this they weren't able to take over Nintendo's number one position. Limitations, due to its six AA battery capacity it was large and only lasted max of 5 hours, and was expensive, this caused its downfall.

1992 – Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
This console set the path for consoles, taking features from a lot of consoles of that time, it's graphics were some of the best. The system is based on simplicity make it easy to use for all ages. Contending highly with the Sega mega drive, it was the console to have at the time and Nintendo would rule the market until Sony's release of the Playstation. Limitations, often player had to insert game more than once to get it working, easily chipped games apart from that it was graphically very good.

1993 – Atari Jaguar
Just a blah.

1994 – Sega Mega Drive II (Sega Genesis II)
Known by two names as they were designed differently for different regions. Its production and sales lasted for a long time on the games market, and in America a Sega Genesis III was released.

1994 – Playstation (PSone)
One of the first consoles to use CD-ROMs, this meant that more information could be burned onto them. The introduction of analog movement wasn't at the start of the PSone's production, but later was added along with a vibration feature. I remember having tomb raider for PSOne but I got so scared at tigers chasing me, men running at me, firing my own gun...etc.
1994 – Sega Saturn
Basically playstation's rival at the time, it also used CD-ROM's but not nearly as successful.

1997 – Nintendo 64
1998 – Game Boy Colour
1999 - Sega Dreamcast
Had sound defects, easy broken, awkward HCI and just plain crap

Here is a couple of good websites for info on computers;
And if you want to buy some arcade consoles look below

Really what happened in the 80's to the 90's revolutionised the gaming history, it brought us legendary franchises such as Pac-Man, Mario, Donkey Kong...etc. When people look back they will think we are a bunch of retards actually using our thumbs for gaming, or it will all be like Wall-E.

I'll just leave you with a picture on how to live your life, enjoy;

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