Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUKHOrB9dugXm1IDVkfobrQZ5K1Xy09. Atari not only developed their games in-house, they also created a whole new industry around the “arcade,” and in 1973, retailing at $1,095, Atari began to sell the first real electronic video. 10 Terrible Boss Fights in Video Games of 2020 15 Difficult, But Ultimately Worthwhile, Items to Obtain in Video Games 10 Hated Video Game Characters We Actually Loved. In 2009 Torchlight took the world of game development by surprise, emerging as an action RPG that truly hearkened back to the almighty Diablo franchise, which hadn't seen a brand new release since.
Playing games is something completely natural for us as human beings. It’s all in our DNA, in fact… it’s an indivisible part of the whole mammal existence.
I bet you’ve seen how the baby lion plays with it’s siblings. Or it’s the mother who’s initiating a fun pretend-chase to engage the cubs in an imaginary hunt for prey.
What about your dog running after a stick, playing fetch? It’s all fundamentally the same - all mammals are playing games.
We, of course, as the superior-mind type, took our favorite ones and found a way to incorporate them in the digital space straight after it began existing.
Need to Compete
Back in the days, where there was almost no technology existent, playing games was usually possible with people within reasonable distance - the family, your neighbors, your village. That created an unusual setback for one of the most popular games at the time - Chess.
See, it’s hard to find an equal opponent in such small social circles, because Chess is a game of logic and a specific skill. Match two unequal opponents and the game becomes boring for both sides. That’s why a way was needed to interact with more players. Believe it or not, people overcame that by playing Chess by mail!
That’s right, with the development of postal services, it was a secure way to send your move to your opponent and wait for his next action in an envelope.
Six years after the invention of the telegraph device, Samuel Morse (the inventor) wrote to Louis McLane that a game of Chess had been played using it. What’s even more interesting is that this happened before the publick reveal of the device, happening in the next month. Soon Chess clubs all over North America were doing it. Still, the by-mail play of Chess was formalised, but that didn’t happen until the beginning of the 20th century.
One Step Back, Two Steps Forward
The period between the two world wars marks a dark period for the evolution of gaming, with the world being occupied with its survival during the tough times. Two things were in favor of the game development though:
Wargaming had become a thing. Creating or replicating war strategies, new board games, people’s imagination was fueled by real-world events.
Technology was just about to start gaining momentum. With all inventions, driven by the need of technological supremacy from the fighting sides, it was now time to put the new creations and knowledge to work for the people.
So, the year is 1940, and even though the second world war still wasn’t nowhere near its end, Dr Edward Uhler Condom revealed a game machine on the New York’s World fair.
The game played was based on the Mathematical game of Nim. Some 50 000 people played on it during the fair, with a win rate against the computer around 10%.This of course, was just the start, its development again delayed from the events to follow in the next three years. The world will now see the first commercial home use gaming platform 27 years later!
The rise of something big…
According to lead market analysts, the Gaming Industry’s size is 159.3 Billion US dollars in 2020. That’s something, right? It took a long time to go there, but here we are, and it all started with the “Brown Box” .
The vacuum tube circuit, named “Brown Box” was revealed by Ralph Baer in 1967. It was the first game setup that was created for commercial, in-house use. One was able to play four sports games, as well as ping pong and checkers. Even more revolutionary were the first target shooting Light-gun and an attachment used to play golf.
This system was released officially in 1972, under the license of Magnavox and called “Magnavox Odyssey”
It has been claimed around 300,000 were sold. A failure in the eyes of the manufacturer, blamed mainly on badly-managed marketing and based on the fact that home gaming was still a new and uncommon niche in the American household.
No matter what, this was it - digital gaming as we know it today was born!
Rise of the Gaming Community
At this point the story becomes more familiar to the most. Sega and Taito were among the first ones to release arcade games - Crown Special Soccer and Periscope.
It wasn’t until the godfather of gaming created Atari, until household gaming really went viral.
In 1973 Atari started selling the video game Pong, priced at $1,095. Soon after the console started appearing in bars, shopping centres and even dedicated gaming cafes. Soon after, realising the potential, more than 20 companies started to develop video games for consoles, to suit the exponentially expanding market.
The first day of the internet was January 1, 1983. Make no mistake, it’s no coincidence, just a year after, Bill Gates released Donkey. To make it even more interesting, he provided BASIC code to programmers, so they can develop own games. It’s this action, that will set the future for the online games as we know them today.
First game to use the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is SGI Dogfight.
With the advancement of personal computers, more and more people move from consoles to desktop devices. But it’s not a case of entirely changing the stream, rather just splitting it in two.
Still handling a very important role, Sega, Atari and Nintendo still push for advancement, since their finding is that internet is too expensive and too slow to scale at the moment. Their attempts in creating Network games will not succeed until later, when the world web becomes stable and accessible enough to facilitate the demands of the gaming society.
In the early 2000’s, along with the Dot Com boom, came the real development of the internet and the Online games accordingly.
With programming actually becoming a thing, and Java being there to work with online browsers… it was all destined to succeed. Very quickly a new genre in gaming emerged - online games, a.k.a browser games.
Ignoring the Obvious
How many reviews have you read about a game that is played in a browser and doesn’t have a desktop or console version?
Moving fast through the 2000-2020 period, we saw incredibly growth in the digital sector. As far as gaming is concerned - the game consoles went from good to fantastic. Sony, Nintendo and Xbox are driving the innovation forward. At the same time, almost all game headlines available for those are good to be played on more modern desktop devices… and vice versa.
We’ve seen games so close to the real world experience, that it’s uncanny. But to note all those worth mentioning will probably take me an year (or at least to do it properly).
The games that most of us ignore - the browser games. In most cases those are free games that can be played from every browser… almost anywhere, as long as one has internet access.
Probably the fact most of the online games are free makes them less interesting. Of course… usually there aren’t millions poured into them, which just supports my theory, but as far as I’m concerned.. They do play a role in the nowadays gaming reality. And a big one at that!
From your desk to your pocket
In the beginning of browser gaming it was Java that ran the show. Most of the games were made on Java and there was a reason for it.
One could do things unimaginable by then, which could be played free, from all over the world. All you need to do is to install the Java application in order to get the game running. Glorified days those were!
The more games there were, the more the idea about a real-time browser multiplayer arose. And so, with some clever thinking and with the increase of internet speed of course, soon there were some headlines experimenting with it. After quite a few successful attempts, player became more and more thirsty to explore the possibilities of the world network. More players usually means more fun, right?
IO was born
Marking a new chapter in browser games are the IO Games. In it’s core, an IO game is a massively multiplayer online (mmo).
The aim is simple - play with players from all over the world in a mass something… shooting, fighting, eating or just a game of a random skill. The father of IO games is Agar.io.
It’s the one that made these types of games viral. So easy - you just type in the web address, click a button and enter a multiplayer space with tens, hundreds, or even thousands of other players. And that happened not too long ago - the year was 2014.
At the rate IO games are created nowadays, there are probably tens of those emerging every single week. The future is still to show us how those will develop, but my guess will definitely be favorable.
Can it look more realistic please?
By 2008 the gap between Console and Desktop games and browser ones was apparent. Imagine what happened until 2014, when Java was clearly lacking behind and we’ve seen game headlines such as Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, GTA IV and many, many more very realistic games.
This is where things took a turn for browser games - HTML5 was introduced. The language now had more capabilities and it presented a perfect platform for game development. By then we’ve seen a huge improvement in the online gaming landscape.
Things began looking more realistic for 3D games, didn’t require a very serious machine(yes, there are computers that still struggle with browser games) and of course inherited the two most important features of a browser game: They’re free and accessible from all over the world at any given time.
What does the future hold?
Although I’m 100% confident browser games will never take over Console or Desktop games, I strongly believe their future is bright.
There are millions and millions of people out there that find their simplicity attracting.
Apart from the obvious benefits, engaging in a time-taking and long adventure game offline(or even online) isn’t quite the thing they’re looking for. That’s why some of the most played browser games are the ones that are fun, but not too engaging long term, such as Mahjong, Solitaire and many, many others.
Bonus: The top played 15 free browser games according to my research of Google Keywords:
6. Mahjong Classic
7. Uno Online
8. Tanki Online
2000'sthe History Of Video Games Free
15. Evowars.ioAuthor: Iskren Ruskov
Popular Online Games
While IT admins and tech lovers are usually at the forefront of sophisticated technology, sometimes it can be rewarding to step back and think about how far we’ve come. We often write about how much technology has changed the way we work, but how has it affected the way we play games?
Today, we live in a pixel-perfect era of 4K video games. Landscapes are sprawling and stunningly immersive. We can sync games to the cloud without even batting an ultra HD eye. But just a few decades ago, our primitive video games consisted of nothing more than pixelated blobs and bouncing lines.
These are just a few of the many video games that pioneered new genres and technology, laid the foundation for modern-day gaming, and spawned iconic franchises that are still successful today. And as a bonus: You can play all of these retro games online for free right within your web browser.
1. Oregon Trail
In 1971, Oregon Trail was created by several young student teachers as a way to get their students interested in the 19th-century pioneer journey out west. It was an early strategic game that introduced the concepts of resource management and risk management to players. In the early 1980s, it was released as a stand-alone game to the public on the Apple-II, making its way into schools everywhere and becoming a pioneer of the edutainment genre. [Play it here]
Atari’s first product in 1972—a simple table tennis arcade video game called Pong—came with just one instruction: “Avoid missing ball for high score.”
Pong was originally developed as an internal training exercise; it wasn’t even meant to be sold commercially. But soon it began appearing in pubs, bowling alleys, and JC Penney stores. In fact, people even lined up outside bars in the morning to play it. Making $3.2 million in profit, Pong was the the first commercially successful arcade game, and it ushered in video games as a new form of entertainment. [Play it here]
3. Colossal Cave Adventure
In 1975, programmer Will Crowther created a text-only, interactive game called Colossal Cave Adventure, where players entered text commands to explore a virtual cave and solve puzzles. He spawned an entirely new gaming genre called interactive fiction, hypertext, or interactive storytelling, which laid the foundation for future adventure games and role-playing games. [Play it here]
4. Space Invaders
The History Of Video Games
Space Invaders, an arcade game about shooting aliens, became immensely popular all around the world in 1978. (Urban legend says it caused a national shortage of 100-yen coins in Japan.) With its blocky, iconic aliens, it visually defined the look of commercial video games. It also paved the way for modern video games by pioneering the “shoot-em-up” genre and using music as a device to influence players’ emotions. It was the first game that introduced a difficulty curve—it got more challenging as you played. But this wasn’t intentional; it was actually a glitch due to technical limitations. As you blasted away aliens, fewer aliens on the screen meant a lighter load on the processor and, in turn, faster rendering. The aliens sped up, as did the 4-note soundtrack. Video games now had the ability to feel suspenseful and formidable, and this happy accident laid the foundation for future gameplay. [Play it here]
In 1980, Battlezone was one of the first video games to use vector graphics technology, and visuals became smoother and cleaner. It is considered by some to be the first virtual reality arcade game because it featured 3D wireframe graphics and players had to look through a “periscope” to play the game. [Play it here]
Several Atari programmers defected in 1980 and created Activision, the world’s first independent video game developer and distributor. They went on to produce some of Atari’s best-selling games like Pitfall!, where you navigated through a jungle and collected treasures. Pitfall! was an early platform game, and though it technically didn’t side-scroll, it was certainly an early version of it. It paved the way for gameplay found in Super Mario Bros. [Play it here]
Pac-Man hit the arcade scene in 1980 and was an overnight sensation. Since the little yellow circle looked like a puck, it was originally called Puck-Man, but executives feared that name was too easy to vandalize, so they changed it. The character was half-inspired by a pizza pie missing a slice and half-inspired by the Japanese character for “mouth.” In an era where most games were space shooters, designer Toru Iwatani made the game about eating because he wanted something equally appealing to both men and women. Sure enough, it was a universal hit. Raking in more than $1 billion in quarters, it’s the highest grossing arcade game in history, as well as a major pop culture icon. Pac-Man introduced the idea that video games could cross over and have mainstream appeal if they had strong characters. Audiences loved the Pac-Man character so much that there was even a Pac-Man TV series, not to mention merchandise like Pac-Man cereal, pasta, board games, toys, radios, etc. [Play it here]
8. Donkey Kong
In 1981, the world met a carpenter named Jumpman and his pet gorilla, Donkey Kong. It was one of the first games to have an actual plot (Jumpman must climb the construction site to save his girlfriend, Pauline, who’s been kidnapped by Donkey Kong). Donkey Kong was a smash hit and a milestone in the annals of gaming history; it was one of the first jump-and-run platform games and gave rise to a new style of gaming. Players around the world loved the silly narrative, playful graphics, interesting characters, and humor. But as we’d discover a few years later, the true breakout star of the game was Jumpman (later renamed Mario). [Play it here]
9. Super Mario Bros.
Nintendo released its 8-bit NES console in 1985, helping resuscitate a flailing American video game industry that was still recovering after a massive crash two years earlier. The NES came bundled with Super Mario Bros., which introduced groundbreaking technical innovation (side-scrolling), as well as a visually rich, quirky world that players had never seen before. The jump-happy Italian-American plumber brothers known as Mario and Luigi instantly became iconic characters. Super Mario Bros. was a cultural phenomenon and a massive commercial success—it remains the best-selling video game franchise to this day. [Play it here]
Eschewing the traditional win/lose dynamic of games, Will Wright created SimCity in 1989. It featured an open-ended design where players could build and design their own city. This was a tough concept to swallow. Publishers failed to see its potential (“No one likes it, because you can’t win”), so he co-founded Maxis and published SimCity himself. Though this wasn’t the first of the “omniscient God” games, it wildly popularized the genre and spawned multiple versions and spinoffs, including 2000’s The Sims. [Play it here]
Nintendo released the Game Boy in 1989, which came bundled with Tetris. Invented by a Soviet programmer in the USSR in 1984, Tetris wasn’t originally intended to be a form of entertainment—it was meant to showcase the potential of computer intellect. But it was a breakout hit on the Game Boy. It was simple enough to play on the go, and it was popular with both adults and children alike. Henk Rogers, the designer responsible for bringing the game to market, explained its appeal: “The basic pleasure of putting blocks together to make something is a universal basic pleasure center.” With over 170 million copies sold, it’s one of the top-selling video games of all time. It’s been played in more than 185 countries, translated into more than 50 languages, and released on more than 50 platforms. Many people credit Tetris with popularizing the puzzle genre of games. [Play it here]
12. Sonic the Hedgehog
Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991 to compete with the Nintendo juggernaut. Originally called Mr. Needlemouse, Sonic was positioned as the cooler, spunkier, edgier alternative to Mario. The game emphasized speed—unlike Mario, Sonic zoomed around in a quick blur—which was unprecedented at the time. The spiky blue hedgehog was a commercial success and became Sega’s iconic mascot. [Play it here]
13. Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II came out in 1991 in the arcades, and it was so successful that it was ported to multiple consoles. It brought a new technical complexity to arcade games that hadn’t existed before: Each characters had distinctive fighting styles and special moves, so players had to fight strategically. The graphics were also detailed, rich, and beautifully animated. Street Fighter II was hugely influential—it popularized the fighting genre and influenced later fighting games, like Mortal Kombat. By 1995, it had made an estimated $2.3 billion. [Play it here]
Doom, considered to be one of the most influential video games ever, came out for PC DOS in 1993. It was a pioneer of the modern first-person shooter genre, and it introduced 3D graphics and networked multiplayer gameplay. In fact, it was responsible for introducing the term “deathmatch” to mainstream gaming vernacular. This online multiplayer mode was revolutionary at the time, and it was a forerunner for applications like Counter-Strike and XBox Live. [Play it here]
Snake actually originated as an arcade game called Blockade in 1976, which was the first of the “snake” games. But it didn’t achieve mainstream popularity until 1997, when Nokia started preloading Snake in its mobile phones. For many people, it was the first mobile game they ever played, and it set the stage for the mobile gaming explosion a few years later. It’s estimated that it was featured on over 400 million Nokia phones. [Play it on the “Nokia phone” here]