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PSN: gtvault-com
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A Brief History of Video Games
Updated 01/13/2008 12:35 PM Post a reply Quote this post View Kerr's info
I was stumbling around the web the other day when I happened up on a website detailing the history of video games from the mid 1960's through the mid 1990's. I consider this required reading for anyone who has a passing interest in video games, regardless of whether you are old enough to have been gaming in that era.

Today we enjoy a market with three successful consoles and a substantial PC element. This breadth of product and intense competition breeds innovation and keeps prices somewhat in check. This was not so for two extended periods in gaming history: the reigns of Atari in the late 1970's and early 1980's and Nintendo in the late 1980's and early 1990's. In both cases consumers eventually demanded more powerful systems and games after playing their existing systems for a number of years. Due to their virtual monopoly of the market, at the height of their power both Atari and Nintendo basically said that gamers weren't ready for such advances. While there wasn't an heir apparent to Atari's throne in the early 1980's, Sega is largely responsible for handing Nintendo their ass and ushering in the 16 bit era with the Sega Genesis.

All in all, the website was very entertaining and interesting. I can remember playing the Atari Pong machine, so for me it was all the more entertaining reading about the systems that consumed a fair amount of my youth. Nod I personally read every page on the site, but I found these to areas the most interesting:

The chronological tour - This starts out at the beginning when video gaming was nothing more than a war project at the Pentagon and finishes up in the 64 bit era.
Gender And Racial Inequality in Video Games - An essay that strives to explain the true reasons behind the preponderance of white male characters in video games.

EDIT

A couple days after my original post, I came across this t-shirt over at bustedtees.com that I thought was funny and apropos. Any NES gamer knows this was the first thing you did when a cart wouldn't boot.



Enjoy!
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Posted 01/15/2008 9:40 PM Post a reply Quote this post View Tyr13's info
I remember those days. I still have an old atari will about 30 games stored in a box in the game room closet.
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Posted 01/16/2008 3:06 PM Post a reply Quote this post View DTW's info
I remember that and even though I was never sure if it really worked or not I blew the hell out of those cartridges. Thinking of it reminds me of my first game console. How many of you recall or even had one of the early Activision game consoles? I can't recall the name for it but the controllers where attached by cords.

PSN: gtvault-com
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Posted 01/16/2008 7:28 PM Post a reply Quote this post View Kerr's info
Yeah me and my friends would spend like 10 minutes blowing the contacts on the cartridges and damn if they'd eventually work. I think the real problem was the console getting worn out.

I don't remember Activision making actual consoles. Was it one of those deals where the game is actually in the joystick?

I loved the Activision games on the Atari 2600. They were always a step ahead of Atari's in-house games IMO.

Best Activision game ever - Pitfall!
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Posted 01/22/2008 11:48 AM Post a reply Quote this post View DTW's info
You are right Kerr. It wasn't Activision it was Intellivision.. Mine looked just like the one pictured there at the top and I played the crap out of that thing. What a joy it was to play and I would spend hours on end locked in front of it.

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Updated 01/22/2008 6:36 PM Post a reply Quote this post View Kerr's info
Cool, yeah I remember one of my friends growing up had an Intellivision and we played the hell out of it like you did. We basically played anything we could get our hands on!
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Posted 01/29/2008 11:37 AM Post a reply Quote this post View PipSqueek's info
I remember my bro-in-law bring Pong over the house. That was the first. A couple years later, my friend got an Atari, and I recall going over his house playing Space Invaders. He was also one of the first in the neighborhood, to have cable tv, so we would watch this new channel called MTV. It was probably better then, than now.

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Posted 01/29/2008 1:05 PM Post a reply Quote this post View Kerr's info
MTV - Now that's a fond memory. I was pretty young, but I actually remember when they first aired "Video Killed The Radio Start" by The Buggles. Too bad they took the "M" out of it in later years. I blame The Real World as the beginning of the end of what used to be a great all-round music channel. There are lots of of other options out there today, so it's all good I suppose.
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