Thursday, 30 October 2008

The Middle Ages

In 1973, 11 years after the production of SpaceWar! the classic Pong was was created. It was the first commercially available video game. Pong was first at home in markets, fun fairs and entertainment venues, the same enviroinment that would later spawn and host such games as Space Invaders.

But these games still had their limitations, for the most part, the game was single player, and involved basic assessts such as lives (typically 3) and high scores along with levels got expectidly got harder as you progressed.
But one of the issues with gaming for this era was that they were for the most part single player games in which winning wasn't the aspect of the game, this was infact close to impossible, simply reaching the high score screen was the more mundane accomplishment of the games of this time.

Although the realm of multiplayer gaming was present it wasnt as popular as it is in nowadays with the likes of CoD, This was quite the case for almost 20 years (1977 to 1993 approximately) That is until the 1993 game Doom took the less popular multigaming market and gave it a much needed boost. Doom gave the players the experience to fight each other in the same game world as several PC's could be hooked up to one another, giving the gamer even more intercation than the usual grab the joystick and kill the aliens style experience that Spacewar! and Space Invaders had left them with.

In combination with what had occured 2 decades previously, the release of The Oddyssey, the first comercial video game console, had opened up a new market and gave gamers a chance of something never really experienced before.This being the ability to play with freinds in multiplayer games on a home console.
Because of all this the end of this age compared to the begginning showed many more qualities that could lead the world of gaming into new areas and limitations with players being able to battle multiple people at once. Gaming had been revolutionised for more fun and recreational purposes instead of the competitive highscore screen of it predecesors, not to say that these changes stopped games from being competitive of course.

Moving swiftly onwards to my personal gaming history,the next chapter in my gaming history would move me onto when i got my hands first on a sega megradrive, with lineups such as golden axe and streets of rage dominating my childhood. I remember quite vividly my time playing streets of rage as me and my brother wasted most of our early years sprawled out infront of the television button bashing thugs to a bloody pulp, completing it again and again untill we could pretty much do it blindfold (which for a 9 year old is a damn good acievement!) And in answer to the question what made me keep playing all this time, i think i can answer this by keeping on topic and discussing street of rage 2! Another early game i have more than an imaginable memory about, which as you can guess, yeah, had me and my brother out infront of that television again warping our fragile little minds with uneccessary violence and button bashing. I think one of the reasons i kept playing was for this factor of sequels and how if you get addicted to a game then the release of a title with the number 2 in it becomes something that keeps you coming back for more, but enough of this for now

Toodles for now people

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Computer Games Began When?

One of the most popular games for having the name of the 'beginning' of computer games is that infamous game from the 70's, pong. But was this really how the world of xbox and playstation got spinning? After some much needed research its weird to find that there's more to it than that white little ball bouncing back and forth between the paddles....a lot more
lets go back in time 50 years

Tic -Tac-Toe, the earliest computer game was made in 1952, its creator A.S. Douglas, a PhD professor at University of Cambridge created this as a result of his studies on human-computer interaction. The game itself wasn't actually intended for use on a computer, instead a
EDSAC vaccuum-tube computer was used, and unlike modern day consoles, it was played on using a cathode ray tube display. This was followed by Steve Russel, producer of the first game created with the intention of being played on a computer, and his game SpaceWar! His game was designed around a MIT PDP-1 mainframe computer

And this leads to the questions of who actually created computers for fun over their more conventional purposes? The obvious answer in terms of background is scientists, but i believe that they weren't just scientists, more people using the skills they have to think 'outside the box' and create machines that no one else would have conceived. They were pioneers, with their experiments testing early computers to their limit of capability and as a result produced what was the beginning of an entire franchise.

I think this stirkes me as significant as again not just their background, but also their mindset towards making these games again shows the early signs of what people in the modern gaming industry still have. The way they were trying to test out the current technology to its limit and produce what others havent yet. It deosnt matter if its 1952 with an
EDSAC vaccuum-tube computer or 2008 with an xbox 360, this is still the way designers think! Althought the technology has come a long way since the days of SpaceWar! the ideas of pushing the boundaries to a new level on consoles hasen't. Because of this their first experiments are still much like the gaming industry of today, and i beleive this is what is significant about the people that created these games, their ideas and thought processes are still pursued and used today.

And this brings me onto my personal gaming history,which undoubtedly will grow as this course goes on.
I was a keen gamer from an early age and despite that fact im not lucky enough to still possess any working old school consoles i still have fond memories of playing them. The earliest games i can recall playing go back to that of my Amiga, with games like James Pond and Lemmings, that back in the good ol' days fitted nicely onto a floppy disk. Although back then my young brain hadnt the capacity to figure out how the darn lemmings got successfully from the start to the finish in one piece, I still found it entertaining to play as i watched them come to a gruesome but yet strangely cute death. This i think was followed by the golden era of Sega Megadrive and the likes of streets of rage and shinobi, but more about all that later on i guess...

Toodles for now people

Monday, 27 October 2008

First Blog Entry

So yeah, first year of university and we've been told that instead of writing pages upon pages of degrading essays instead we have this, a magical little thing called a blog. My first reaction to this was honestly a bit woah! I was both uneasy about essay style writing and curious about it being a magical thing called a blog instead. See the 'academic' side of education like English literature was something I personally despised. The thought of having to write 2000 words about how Shakespeare did this and that in his plays to create this and that kind of dramatic tension was something i wasn't keen on. It wasn't learning, more about getting facts drilled into your head for you to later regurgitate at a desk with an exam paper sat staring at you, it wasn't creative. It was'nt me

Because of this it took me a while for my curiosity to suddenly it creep up on me and think yeah, blogs may be a good thing (*cough cough* forgive me if I'm wrong people) I started to realize these aren't no essays, more a diary of your collective thoughts and opinions on a subject, and just like most men, when drunk at a bar discussing pointless issues, my opinion on a matter is something i can put down quite well. Simple, yet effective :D

To continue this i had to ask myself the question 'do you feel comfortable writing for an invisible audience?' This gave me some food for thought, and i don't mean the family sized trifle on munching down on all to myself right now. This is because you wouldn't want some drunk American jock at a house party running into your room and reading your diary. And in the case of a blog, this is just that...i think. So i would say i should feel uncomfortable about it but to be honest i don't, because if i write something where i slobber on for ages, much like I'm doing now, I wont have some guy come up and punch me in the face for it. It's more of an audience where you can comfortably write to them expressing your opinions and matters, probably because their invisible lol. and the feedback after going through other blogs is creative and supportive, or criticised constructively, not some bloke goin LOL! you suck. so in answer to it yeah i do feel comfortable writing to an invisble audience because of these reasons.

And on that note i think I'll leave it at that for my first blog entry, toodles for now people