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Game Genres


									The Evolution of Video
A Brief History from the 1800’s-Present
Ancestors of Video Games

   The beginnings of the video
    game industry can be traced
    back to the pinball machine
   Pinball itself can be traced
    back to the 1800’s game
    Bagatelle, a form of billiards
    in which players used a cue to
    shoot balls up a sloped table,
    hoping to have the ball land
    in a pocket on the way down.     2
Ancestors of Video Games
   In 1931, Automatic Industries
    introduced the first real pinball
    machine, Whiffle, which used a
    plunger instead of a cue. It was also
    one of the first devices that was coin
   Later in 1931, David Gottlieb
    introduced the hugely popular Baffle
    Ball, which launched pinball into a
    serious industry.
   At this point, there were no flippers,
    bumpers, or scoring device.              3
Ancestors of Video Games
   Harry Williams introduced Contact in
    1933, the first electric machine.

   Around this time, pay-out machines
    were introduced that combined pinball
    and gambling.
       Many states passed laws prohibiting gambling and
        these pay-out machines.
       In New York, pinball was ruled an extension of
        gambling and was made illegal (until the 1980’s!).
        Many states followed this precedent and the
        gaming industry was tainted.
Ancestors of Video Games
   In 1947, Gottleib introduced Humpty
    Dumpty, the first game to use flippers,
    to establish pinball as a game of skill
    and not a game of chance.
   Some states relented, but the gaming
    industry was still tainted and linked to gambling.
   Other innovations followed, and the pinball
    industry grew with companies like Gottleib,
    Williams, Bally, and Midway.
   Many of the founders and innovators of the
    video game industry had their starts in pinball.
The First Video Game?

   Early computers could only play simple
    games like tic-tac-toe.
   Most historians agree the first video
    game was invented in 1958 by Willy
    Higginbotham at the Brookhaven National
   It was an oscilloscope and analog Donner
    computer to play “Tennis for Two” as a
    demonstration for the annual visitor day.
The First Video Game?

                   Rebuilt in 1997

   Original Game

   In 1961, Steve Russell built Spacewar on a DEC
    PDP-1 at MIT.
       It took 6 months and 200 hours of programming.
       Using toggle switches, two players could control
        dueling ships firing torpedoes at each other.
       Additional effects like gravity, hyperspace
        (teleporting), and unreliable weapons were
        eventually added.
   Due to its eventual influence on the industry
    and its well-known history, many people
    consider this the first true video game.               8

The Spacewar PDP-1                         Steve Russell and the
                                             Original Spacewar

                     Spacewar Screenshot                           9
The Magnavox Odyssey

   In the late 1960’s, Ralph Baer began work on a
    video game system while working at Sanders
   The game was a form of ping pong using a
    moving ball and player controlled paddles.
   The system consisted of a game box
    containing the logic, two simple controllers,
    and used a standard television for a display.
   Magnavox struck a deal, and the system
    became the Odyssey, launched in 1972.
The Magnavox Odyssey
   Other games were also
    supported through the
    use of coloured screen
    overlays and accessories.
   Magnavox, unfortunately,
    overpriced it and marketed
    it as only working with Magnavox sets.
   The system nevertheless sold reasonably well
    for being the first home video game console.
   It also had great influence on the first major
    arcade video game … Pong.
The Beginnings of Atari

   Nolan Bushnell was first introduced to
    gaming through the pinball industry.
   At the same time, Bushnell attended the
    University of Utah, where he first saw
    and played Spacewar.
   He went on to create Computer Space, a
    coin operated version of Spacewar using
    custom hardware and a television for a
    display in 1970.                          12
The Beginnings of Atari

   With help from Bill
    Nutting of Nutting
    Associates, 1,500
    Computer Space
    machines were manufactured in 1971.
   Due to poor marketing and complex game play
    (it needed several pages of instructions to
    explain), the game did poorly.
   Not to be deterred, Bushnell went on to form
    Atari in 1972 as the first video game company.
Atari and Pong

   Atari’s first commercial
    success was Pong.
   It was test marketed at Andy
    Capp’s Tavern in Sunnyvale,
    California late in 1972.
   It was a huge success.
   Forgeries and copies
    appeared on the scene to
    cash in on the new craze.      14
Atari and Pong

   Magnavox sued Atari for patent
   Since Bushnell had seen the Odyssey at a
    trade show months before Pong was
    made, Atari was in trouble.
   They settled with Magnavox and became
    the sole licensee for this technology.
   Magnavox prosecuted all of the imitators,
    leaving Atari back on top of the industry.
More Early Home Consoles

   Atari’s Home Pong in 1975
   The Connecticut Leather
    Company (Coleco) and Telstar
    in 1976.
   Fairchild Camera and
    Instrument releases Channel F,
    also in 1976, the first
    programmable home game to
    use cartridges.                  16
More Early Home Consoles

   Atari released the Video
    Computer System (better
    known as the 2600) in
    1977. Immensely popular.
   Magnavox and Odyssey2 in
   Mattel Electronics
    introduced the Intellivision
    in 1979.                       17
The Early Arcade

   Arcades did not exist at first … video games
    were largely installed in bars and were not seen
    as children’s amusements.
   Bushnell saw the huge potential and
    Atari introduced the Pizza Time
    Theatre (Chuck E. Cheese) to help
    establish video games for children
    in 1977.
   Arcades for the whole family began to spring
    up as video games grew in popularity.
Early Arcade
   1975: Midway imports Taito’s
    game Gunfight … the first to
    use a microprocessor.
   1976: Exidy Games releases Death
    Race, in which players drive over
    stick figures. Protests ensue.
   1978: Atari releases
    Football and Midway
    releases Space Invaders.
    Both set records.                   19
Early Arcade
   1979: Atari releases Lunar
    Lander, its first vector
    graphics game. Atari later
    released Asteroids, its
    best-selling game.
   1980: Namco releases Pac-Man, the
    most popular arcade game ever
   1980: Atari releases Battlezone,
    perhaps the first true first-person
    video game.
Early Arcade
   1981: Relative newcomer Nintendo
    releases Donkey Kong, with the first
    appearance of what would become
    Mario, later Nintendo’s main mascot.
   Other classics followed:
       1981: Galaga, Frogger, Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede
       1982: Dig Dug, Burger Time, Mr. Do!, Q*Bert, Pole
        Position, Joust, Zaxxon, Moon Patrol (first game
        with parallax scrolling), Time Pilot
       1983: Dragon’s Lair (first laser disc game), Mario
        Bros., Spy Hunter                                    21
Meanwhile, Atari
at Home …
   1979: Atari designer Warren Robinett introduces Easter
    Eggs to video games, hiding a room with his name in a
    2600 game called Adventure.
   1980: Atari ports Space Invaders to the 2600. The
    practice of porting arcade hits to home begins.
   1981: Atari ports Pac-Man to the 2600. Still ranks #4
    on the Top Ten most Shameful Games of all time.
    Really, really bad.
   1982: Atari rushes E.T. for the 2600 to market for
    Christmas. Millions of cartridges are reportedly dumped
    and buried in the New Mexico desert. Even worse!
   1982: Atari releases the 5200 game console. It also did
    not do very well. Atari in big trouble.
Also at Home …
   1980: Sensing Atari was in trouble, several
    developers left and formed Activision, the first
    third-party game publisher.
   1982: General Consumer Electronics
    produces the Vectrex.
       The first vector graphics home console.
       It was monochromatic, but used
        coloured plastic overlays like the first
        Magnavox Odyssey.
   1982: Coleco releases the
   Both consoles faltered in 1983 and died off in
    1984, when the rest of the industry crashed.       23
The Crash of 1983-1984
   After the golden age up to 1982, the video
    game market collapsed with several companies
    abandoning the industry or totally out of
    business. Why?
       There was no new technology able to sustain and
        drive growth of the industry.
       There was a huge over-supply of game cartridges.
       Atari believed they were unstoppable and could do
        anything. Turns out they were wrong.
       Home computers arrived on the scene, and people
        began to panic at the new threat.
       People lacked faith, and many felt video games were
        a fad. Retailers, distributors, the press, and good
        portions of the public turned their backs on them. 24
The Advent of the
Home Computer
   In the early 1980’s, home computers began to
    grow in popularity.
   Some did not do very well, like the Coleco
    Adam (1984), but some proved popular as a
    gaming platform.
       Commodore, with the VIC 20 (1981) and
        Commodore 64 (1982) and again later with the
       Apple with the Apple II and later generations.
       IBM and various PC clones, which has become the
        predominant home computing gaming platform.       25
The Advent of the
Home Computer
   Several new companies began developing
    for these new platforms:
       Accolade
       Origin
       Infocom
       Epyx
       Broderbund
       Sierra
       Microprose
       Electronic Arts
       Lucas Arts
       And many, many others                26
Nintendo and Sega

   In 1984, Nintendo released the
    Family Computer (Famicom)
    in Japan. It was rebranded
    in 1985 as the Nintendo
    Entertainment System (NES) for North America.
   In 1986, Sega (once known as
    SErvice GAmes) released the
    Sega Master System.
   These two new home consoles begin to
    revitalize the sagging game market.
Nintendo and Sega
   Sega lagged behind Nintendo in sales.
   In 1989, Sega introduced the
    new 16-bit Genesis console, but
    it still lagged behind as people
    awaited the Super NES.
   When the Super NES was
    introduced in 1991, Sega had a
    surprise … its new mascot,
    Sonic the Hedgehog.
   In 1992, Sega shipped the Sega CD peripheral
    for the Genesis, which did not fare very well.
Other Contenders
   1987: NEC introduces the hybrid
    8/16 bit PC Engine in Japan, later
    releasing it in 1989 in the U.S. as
   1990: SNK introduces the new 24-
    bit NeoGeo game console in the
   1993: Panasonic releases the 32-
    bit 3DO system, a CD based
   Despite their technical innovations,
    none of these systems fared as
    well as Nintendo’s or Sega’s.          29
Arcades Fight Back
   In 1987, CAPCOM introduced
    Street Fighter, but hardware
    lacked the power to really drive
    the game.
   In 1991, that was fixed with
    Street Fighter II, and new life
    was breathed into the arcade.
   CAPCOM followed with many
    more fighting game classics.
   In 1992, Midway followed suit
    and introduced the gory Mortal
    Kombat series. More protests.
Arcades Fight Back
   Though fighting games brought life back to
    arcades, it was never the same as before the
       Arcades became testing grounds for next generation
        hardware and games for home consoles for
        Nintendo, Sega, and Sony.
       Arcades also came to house specialized hardware
        unavailable to the home console, or the classic
        games that once defined the industry.
       Despite the boost in popularity, arcades were not
        able to revive their glory days. But, this was not
        the end of the arcade either …                     31
Hand Held Gaming

   Early hand helds were primarily LED
    based, single game machines.
   New hand helds changed that:
     Atari Lynx (1989)
     Nintendo Game Boy (1990)

     NEC TurboExpress (1990)

     Sega Game Gear (1991)

     NeoGeo Pocket (1998), Colour (1999)

     Game Boy Colour and Advance (2001)
Home Computer
   1989: Maxis releases SimCity and
    begins the line of Sim games.
   1993: 7th Guest becomes the
    first big CD-ROM hit. Myst
    follows shortly.
   1993: Id Software publishes
    Doom, firmly establishing the
    first-person shooter, and
    introduces multiplayer gaming.
   1995: 3D acceleration hardware introduced.
A Three Horse Race

   1994: Sega releases the Saturn
    in Japan (1995 in the U.S.).
   1994: Sony releases the
    Playstation in Japan (1995 in
    the U.S.).
   1995: Nintendo releases the
    Nintendo 64 in Japan (1996
    in the U.S.).
   This time, all three consoles enjoy
    reasonable success.                   34
A New Three Horse Race
   1999: Sega releases the Dreamcast.
   2000: Sony releases the Playstation 2.
   2000: Sega introduces Internet
    access to the Dreamcast.
   2001: Nintendo releases the Gamecube.
   2001: Microsoft releases the Xbox.
   2001: Sega discontinues the
    Dreamcast, and announces it
    will no longer produce hardware.
   2002: Both Sony and Microsoft
    introduce Internet connectivity
    to their consoles.                       35
Portable Developments
   2003: Nintendo releases the Game
    Boy Advance SP.
   2003: Gamepark releases the GP32
    with wireless support, Internet
    connectivity, USB, and Smart Media
       In addition to its own games, it can play
        Game Boy and Game Boy Colour, NES,
        Super NES, Atari 2600, NeoGeo Pocket,
        and other console titles through
   2003: Nokia releases the N-Gage
    with wireless connectivity through
    Bluetooth and cellular networks for
    games, e-mail, and so on.                       36
Arcades Fight Back Again
   Arcades have seen a recent
    revival, starting at the turn
    of the new millennium with
    games with new controls
    and innovative twists
    best suited for the arcade.
     Dance Dance Revolution
      (and at least 12 sequels) ...
     MoCap Boxing, MoCap Golf, ...

     And quite a few others.         37
Arcades Fight Back Again
   The arcade’s resurging popularity is highest
    in Asia, particularly Japan.
   Some arcades and arcade machines are
    reappearing in North America, more so in
    the United States than in Canada.
   But, it is still not the same as it once was.
       The focus still appears to be more about
        introducing new technologies.
       The gameplay almost seems secondary;
        without the gimmicks, the games would not be
        nearly as much fun to play.
The Current Generation

   Nintendo released in late
    2004 its latest hand
    held, the dual-screen
    Nintendo DS, with more
    power than the N64, and
    lots of bells and whistles.
   Sony also released in late
    2004 its own feature rich
    hand held, the Playstation
    Personal (or PSP) in Japan
    and brought it to North America early 2005.   39
The Current Generation

   In late 2005, Microsoft
    launched its Xbox 360.
   It features a three-core
    processor, built-in
    wireless, hard-drive,
    built-in network support,
    and high-end graphics. Very nice.
   This marked the beginning of the “next
    generation” of console hardware …        40
The Current Generation

   In November 2006, Sony launched the
    Playstation 3 in North American and Asian
    markets. (A European launch took place
    in spring 2007.)
   It features a Cell processor,
    Blu-ray drive, high definition
    video, a hard drive, built-in
    networking, and other features
    depending on configuration.
The Current Generation

   Also launched near the end of 2006 was
    Nintendo’s Wii (originally the Revolution).
   While lacking the raw power
    of the Xbox 360 and the PS3,
    the Wii’s controller promised
    new innovations in games
    and game design, while its
    backwards compatibility
    serviced the old school types.
Revisions to the
Current Generation
   Nintendo launched the DS Lite
    in 2006 to replace the DS.
   Not to be outdone, Sony
    introduced a newer and smaller
    version of the PSP in 2007, the
    PSP-2000. (The original is now
    referred to as the PSP-1000.)
   Sony later followed this up
    with the PSP-3000 with a
    better screen and several other
    features in 2008.                 43
Revisions to the
Current Generation
   In 2008 and 2009, Nintendo
    launched the DSi, with more
    memory and storage, power,
    cameras, network connectivity
    and other features.
   In 2009, Sony introduced the
    PSP Go, removing UMD support
    in favour of networked content.
   In late 2009 and into 2010, Nintendo is
    launching the DSi XL, featuring larger screens.
Revisions to the
Current Generation
   Microsoft and Sony have also released multiple
    variations of the Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles
    respectively, with changes in storage capacity,
    video connectivity, peripherals and so on.
   Nintendo’s upgrades to the Wii have focused on
    peripherals like the Wii Zapper, Wii Balance
    Board, Wii Speak, and Wii MotionPlus.

Emerging Platforms

   Apple’s iPhone has generated renewed
    interest in mobile gaming on cell phones.
     The hardware is good, the platform is
      popular, development is cost effective, and
      distribution is simple.
     This is a very hot and
      competitive market,
      however, so finding
      success can still be
      rather difficult.
Emerging Platforms
   Facebook and other social networking
    sites are increasingly popular gaming
       This is particularly true for
        games aimed at more
        casual audiences.
   FarmVille, for example, now has almost
    74 million players. This dwarfs even
    World of Warcraft, which currently has
    only between 11 and 12 million players.   47
On the Horizon

   Sony plans on introducing its
    Motion Controller, tentatively
    scheduled for a Spring 2010
   Microsoft plans on rolling
    out its Project Natal in late
   Rumors exist for Wii HD in 2010 or 2011,
    but Nintendo still officially denies this.   48

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