Saturday, 1 November 2008

Middle Ages for Video Games

Homeward Bound

Well we know where games originated from my last post, but what happened next? What would define the “Middle Ages” for video games? It seems that before the mid seventies, most of the games created were made for arcade machines. If you wanted play video games, chances were that you would have to find a place with arcade machines. The games designed were mainly multiplayer games or games that didn’t really have a storyline. In 1972 the first video games console “The Odyssey” was created, which could be played at home. It was designed by Ralph Baer and released by Magnavox. At about this time, during the mid seventies the Personal Computer was also introduced. The concept of home gaming spun off and changed the gaming industry. People were now able to take gaming slightly more seriously and were also able to game more often. Single player games were becoming more popular and genres such as First Person Shoot’ em’ up, 3D shooters and Strategy games were being introduced. From 1977 to 1993, the games industry was dominated by single player games. ID software released Doom in 1993; it was the first FPS (First Person Shoot’ em’ up) to include a multiplayer system that allowed for several PC’s to link up over LAN. It was about the same time that the Internet became available outside of academic circles. Together with LAN gaming and the Internet, games were more versatile since the single player experience was present along with the multiplayer aspect. In my opinion I would have to say that the “Middle Ages“ for video games would have to be the period in which games moved to a single player experience up until the time at which they were combined with a multiplayer environment.

I remember the first time I played Doom, I was eight years old and it scared the living daylights out of me. It wasn’t the creatures that scared me but more the fact that they appeared from hidden areas and were able to sneak up on you. It wasn’t until Half-Life that I became extremely interested in games. I loved the way the game made you think in a logical manner. You would be stuck on a small part in the game for a while until you figured out a logical manner in which to solve the problem, which made the end result even more satisfying. Half-Life also had a good storyline that was easy to grasp and had interesting characters. What was up with G-man. The guy was everywhere but you couldn’t kill him or talk to him. Console gaming for me only really began with the Game Cube since my parents thought gaming was just a distraction and that it would not benefit my future career. I managed to get them to get me a Game Cube after playing on it at my friends’ house. The first games I got for it were Metroid Prime, Super Smash Bros Melee and Timesplitters 2. I loved Metroid due to its graphics and game play. It made you constantly move around while fighting and forced you to change weapons as fast as possible during a fight. Timesplitters was just a fun game and the challenges kept me playing. I nearly completed all challenges and still have only completed 72% of that game. A few of my close friends also had the game so we constantly challenged each other to see who could accomplish the most. Super Smash was more of a multiplayer game for us so we would play it when we all got together. I loved the way the game brought all of Nintendo’s best characters together. I loved being Link, Captain Falcon or Kirby. Anyway I think I’ve rambled on for ages now so I best leave it here and eat some junk and play some Fable 2...

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