Today is National Video Game Day. From Tetris to Mario, Donkey Kong to Madden NFL, the world of video games has exploded with booming popularity and growing possibilities. No matter what your style is, chances are there’s a video game out there that you would enjoy. Even for people who prefer a more active pastime, there are games like Dance Dance Revolution and Wii Sports for interactive and active entertainment.
So how did video games begin? Well, that’s not so easy to answer. First, you have to define what a video game is or else you might go all the way back to Goldsmith and Mann’s Cathode Ray Tube in 1947. This device used screen overlays as there wasn’t any ‘video’ back then. Other attempts were made at interactive electronic games along the way but the first real video game console was released in 1972.
Ralph Baer’s Magnavox Odyssey, by all technical terms, became the first video game console. So how come you never heard of it? Because it failed in a horrible way since the Odyssey was only compatible with Magnavox television sets and each console could only play ONE GAME!
Baer’s dream of an interactive television set may have flopped, however, it did launch the video game craze that was to follow.
In 1972, Atari Inc. was founded which led to major success in the arcades. Pong, the first arcade game to catch on caught on indeed, becoming a giant hit. Still, the wait lasted until 1977 for Atari to come out with a game console for home entertainment when the Atari 2600 was released. Up until the Atari, home consoles like the Odyssey were only able to play the one game they were programmed to play.
With incomparable sharpness in graphics and heightened possibilities, video games have grown in diversity to establish its own genres. The advancements they’ve made are impressive to say the least—it’s no wonder they’re so celebrated. With an interesting foreseeable future in virtual reality, video games are sure to continue astounding us for quite some time.
Thanks for reading, Game Fans!
Everyone at Everything Summer Camp has at least dabbled in the realm of video games. Read on to see all our favorites…
The original Legend of Zelda for Nintendo
After the game came out I was in a race with several friends to see who could finish the game first. I remember my Mom waking up around 5 am on a Saturday morning, finding me playing Zelda and being surprised that I was up so early. What she didn’t know at the time was I had never gone to bed!
R.B.I. Baseball (NES)
I grew up playing it. I can even recite all the teams and most of the lineups from each team. From the quirky music to the unbelievable graphics this game will forever be a true classic.
I grew up playing it on SNES with my brother and neighbor; now I play it with my kids on the Wii.
Super Mario World for Super Nintendo.
It is my favorite because growing up my brother and I were allowed to spend Friday nights conquering as many levels as we could while eating our favorite pizza (Fatboy’s Pizza) and other junk food. I still own our Super Nintendo along with the game and will break it out once in a while. I still have to blow in the game and the Super Nintendo to get it to work!
My current favorite game is Mario Kart 8.
It’s easy to pick up, and really fun to play with others—online, or by yourself. You can play for five minutes or five hours, so it’s very friendly to people with busy schedules.
This game was originally a Japanese video game called “Doki Doki Panic.” The Mario makers simply placed their characters over the ones in the original game. I beat it for the first time very recently. It is my very favorite game.
Wheel of Fortune
They’ve got Pat and Vanna on there just like the show! I also like to play Family Feud on the Wii!
Like every owner of a smartphone, this game sucks me in every time!
(Unable to pick a favorite, Missy offered a slew of her old favorites):
Between the arcade and the Atari, I loved playing Centipede, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Enduro, Pong, Pitfall, and Donkey Kong.
My family used to have an Atari and the original Nintendo when they came out. I remember playing Mario—probably the first one. I don’t think I ever made it to the second level, though!
Call of Duty
Currently, Black Ops 2 is my favorite to play.
This is the only video game I’ve ever cared to play. Well, and Mrs. Pacman, of course.