Since conception in the early 1950s, gaming evolved from a technological oddity at a science fair to one of the most profitable industries of the decade. With the onset of the smartphone revolution, gaming tech opened up to a whole new audience. Gaming is now a core part of human existence, so much so, even our grandparents are aware of Angry Birds!
A Brief History of Gaming
The first iteration of a gaming arcade was unveiled in 1940 by Dr. Edward Uhler Condon at the New York World’s Fair. The game was designed around the ancient mathematical game of Nim and was played over 50,000 times within the first six months of being on display. The first commercial game wasn’t available till 1967, however, when Ralph Baer and his team launched the Brown Box.
Moving on to the arcade gaming scene of the 1960s, Sega and Taito launched the electro-mechanical Crown Special Soccer and Periscope, while Atari soon set the pace rolling. Retailing at $1,095 in 1973, the Atari Pong was the first real arcade game popular at bowling alleys, bars, and shopping malls.
It was during the 1970s, when certain popular restaurant chains started installing arcade gaming machines at outlets that the concept of multiplayer gaming caught on. The style of gaming induced competition among players, increasing screen time. The first multiplayer arcade games were split-screen, with PLATO’s Empire being a prime example.
From Arcade to the Living Room
Portable gaming consoles became popular in the US in the early 1970s, which saw an explosion in personal computer sales. Technological advancements in the world of micro-processing saw innovative launches from companies like Intel, which lead to games like Gunfight launching in 1975.
Atari launched the VCS in 1977, which used the home television as the output display. As home and arcade gaming boomed in the next decade, so did technological innovations in micro-processing.
The Modern Era of Gaming
Starting in 2000, computer technology and internet capabilities exploded, leading to a new batch of games being developed. These modern games with improved high-end graphics and processing capabilities blew the older generation out of the ballpark.
Internet speed and technology, in general, have only improved ever since. Online stores like the Wii Shop, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Sony’s PlayStation Store revolutionized gaming forever. By the time modern gaming consoles arrived, online multiplayer games were already an integral part of our lives. It’s a similar story with online casinos.
Ever since the smartphone revolution of 2007, gaming underwent yet another major change, introducing it to pop culture in a never-before-seen avatar. The move caught on rapidly, with mobile gaming revenue overtaking consoles in 2015. The trend is especially visible in Southeast Asia, where the average age of a gamer is way lower than any other place in the world.
The next chapter of gaming is currently unclear, with numerous trends underway. What catches up finally is anybody’s guess!