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History of Videogames

Origins of Videogames

Conceived by Steve Russell, Martin Graetz, and Wayne Wiitanen in 1961 and programmed primarily by Russell, Saunders, Graetz, Samson, and Dan Edwards in the first half of 1962, Spacewar! was inspired by the science fiction stories of E. E. Smith and depicted a duel between two spaceships, each controlled by a player using a custom built control box. Immensely popular among students at MIT, Spacewar! spread to the West Coast later in the year when Russell took a job at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL), where it enjoyed similar success. The program subsequently migrated to other locations around the country through the efforts of both former MIT students and DEC itself, more so after cathode ray tube (CRT) terminals started becoming more common at the end of the 1960s.

1951 - Tennis for Two

1962 - Spacewar!

1971 - Computer Space

1972 - Pong

First Generation of Videogames

Gun fight (1975)

Zork (1977)

  1. Discrete transistor-based digital game logic.

  2. Entire game playfield occupies only one screen.

  3. Players and objects consist of very basic lines or dots.

  4. Two-colour (1-bit) graphics (usually black and white).

  5. Either single-channel or no audio.

  6. Lacked the features of second-generation consoles such as microprocessor logic, flip-screen playfields, sprite-based graphics, and multi color graphics.

The Magnavox Odyssey is the world's first commercial home video game console. It was first demonstrated in April 1972 and released in August of that year, predating the Atari Pong home consoles by three years. It is a digital video game console, though is often mistakenly believed to be analog, due to misunderstanding of its hardware design.

Space Invaders (1978)

Second Generation of Videogames

Galaga (1979)

Donkey Kong (1980)

  1. Microprocessor-based game logic.

  2. AI simulation of computer-based opponents, allowing for single-player gaming.

  3. ROM cartridges for storing games, allowing any number of different games to be played on one console.

  4. Game playfields can span multiple flip-screen areas.

  5. Resolution of around 160 × 192 pixels, and basic blocky sprites.

  6. Generally between two-colour (1-bit) and eight-colour (3-bit) graphics.

  7. Up to three channel audio.

  8. Lacked the features of third-generation consoles such as scrolling playfields and tile-based backgrounds.


Pac Man (1982)

Mario Bros. (1983)

The Atari 5200 SuperSystem, commonly known as the Atari 5200, is a video game console that was introduced in 1982 by Atari Inc. as a higher-end complementary console for the popular Atari 2600. The 5200 was created to compete with the Intellivision, but wound up more directly competing with the ColecoVision shortly after its release.


The 5200 was based on Atari Inc.'s existing 400/800 computers and the internal hardware was almost identical, although software was not directly compatible between the two systems. The 5200's controllers have an analog joystick and a numeric keypad along with start, pause and reset buttons. The 360-degree non-centering joystick was touted as offering more control than the eight-way joystick controller offered with the Atari 2600.

Atari 5200

Nintendo Game & Watch

Third Generation (8-bits)

Tetris (1984)

The Legend of Zelda (1986)

  1. D-pad game controllers.

  2. Hardware scrolling, enabling large multi-directionally scrolling tile-based game playfields.

  3. Resolution of up to 256 × 240.

  4. Generally between eight-colour (3-bit) and 32-colour (5-bit) graphics.

  5. Up to five channel primarily square wave mono audio.

Final Fantasy (1987)

Super Mario Bros (1985)

The Nintendo Entertainment System (also abbreviated as NES) is an 8-bit video game console that was developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was initially released in Japan as the Family Computer (also known as the Famicom and abbreviated as FC) on July 15, 1983, and was later released in North America during 1985, in Europe during 1986, and Australia in 1987. It was succeeded by the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System.


The best-selling gaming console of its time, the NES helped revitalize the US video game industry following the video game crash of 1983. With the NES, Nintendo introduced a now-standard business model of licensing third-party developers, authorizing them to produce and distribute titles for Nintendo's platform.


The Master System, often called the Sega Master System or SMS, is an 8-bit third-generation video game console that was manufactured by Sega. It was originally released in 1985 as the Sega Mark III in Japan and then redesigned and redesignated the Master System for release in 1986 in North America, 1987 in Europe and Japan, and 1989 in Brazil. The original Master System could play both cartridges and the credit card-sized "Sega Cards," which retailed for cheaper prices than cartridges but had lower storage capacity, while later models removed the card slot. The Master System also featured accessories such as a light gun and 3D glasses which were designed to work with a range of specially coded games.

Arcade Games


An arcade game (or coin-op) is a coin-operated entertainment machine, usually installed in public businesses, such as restaurants, bars, and particularly amusement arcades. Most arcade games are video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games, and merchandisers.


The golden age of arcade video games lasted from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. While arcade games were still relatively popular during the late 1990s, the entertainment medium saw a continuous decline in popularity in the Western hemisphere when home-based video game consoles made the transition from 2D graphics to 3D graphics. Despite this, arcades remain popular in many parts of Asia as late as the early 2010s.



Space Harrier (1985)

Final Fight (1989)

Mortal Kombat (1992)

Mortal Kombat (1992) - Fatalities

Marvel Super Heroes (1996)

Street Fighter (1989)

Samurai Shodown (1992)

Fourth Generation (16-Bits)

More powerful microprocessor (typically 16-bit)

Multi-button controllers (up to 8 buttons)

Complex parallex and multi-layer scrolling backgrounds

Large sprites, scalable on-the-fly

Elaborate color, typically 64 to 256 colors on screen (from palettes of 512 (9-bit) color to 32,768 (15-bit) color

Stereo audio, with multiple channels and digital audio playback

Advanced music synthesis (FM or wavetable)


First games for PC appeared.

Handheld consoles appeared: Game boy and Game Gear

New genres appeared: Strategy, puzzle, simulators and RPG.

Some consoles developed new devices to improve microprocessor: Sega CD (for Megadrive). 



Simcity (1989)

The Secret of Monkey Island (1990)

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

Super Mario Bros (1991)

Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (1994)

Super Mario Bros (1991)                               Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

Simcity 2000 (1992)                                                  Warcraft I (1994)

Megadrive / Genesis                                                                 SuperNES / Super Famicon                                                              Neo·Geo

Game Boy                                                                          Game Gear

Fifth Generation (32 & 64-Bits)

32 and 64 bits microprocessor

The CD became the standard media

Multi-button controllers (up to 8 buttons)

First 3D videogames

More complicated color, up to 2048 colors on screen, with a 100000 color palette.

Stereo audio, with multiple channels and digital audio playback. The music is performed by real rock bands or orchestras.

First 3D games PC appeared.

Handheld consoles: Sega Nomad, Game boy color and Virtua Boy.

Best Games:


Sixth Generation (128-Bits)

It was not really a 128 bits system, but it used double 64 bits cores or even a triple 32 bits cores.

They were great devices, but lost popularity against computer and internet.

Best selling games of this generation belong to computer market.

New genres appeared: MMORPG and Open World.

A long list of accesories appeared with those systems, specially for Playstation.

The most selling console was Playstation II with 153 million units sold. (Xbox only sold 24 million units).

All consoles used a linux operative system (even Xbox!!) except Sega (they used microsoft).

Phone games appeared.

Seventh Generation

It started in 2004, with the release of X-Box 360

This consoles offered games rendered natively at high-definition video (HD) resolutions

Most of them had integrating controllers with movement sensors as well as joysticks.
Games were packed as DVD-DL and Blu-ray Disc

Mobile games appeared for the first time, especially in Japan.
High processor speed: 3.2 GHz IBM PowerPC tri-core 
Memory: 512 MB GDDR3 and 256 MB XDR
They included Online services

E-Sports appeared.


Esports is a form of competition using video games. Most commonly, esports takes the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players and teams. Although organized online and offline competitions have long been a part of video game culture, these were largely between amateurs until the late 2000s, when participation by professional gamers and spectatorship in these events through live streaming saw a large surge in popularity. By the 2010s, esports was a significant factor in the video game industry, with many game developers actively designing toward a professional esports subculture.


The most common video game genres associated with esports are:
   Real-time strategy (RTS), like Starcraft
   First-person shooter (FPS), like Overwatch or Call of duty
   Fighting, like Street Fighter or Dungeon Fighter Online
   Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), like League of Legends and DOTA 2
   Battle Royale games, like Fortnite

Many competitions use a series of promotion and relegation play with sponsored teams, such as the League of Legends World Championship, but more recently, competitions structured similar to American professional sports, with salaried players and regular season and play-off series, have emerged, such as the Overwatch League. The legitimacy of esports as a sports competition remains in question; however, esports has been featured alongside traditional sports in multinational events, and the International Olympic Committee has explored incorporating them into future Olympic events.

By 2019, it is estimated that 427 million people worldwide will be watching some form of esports. The increasing availability of online streaming media platforms, particularly, YouTube and Twitch, has become central to the growth and promotion of esports competitions.

Assassin's Creed II

It is a 2009 action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the second major installment in the Assassin's Creed series, a sequel to 2007's Assassin's Creed, and the first chapter in the Ezio trilogy. The game was first released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in November 2009
The plot is set in a fictional history setting and follows the centuries-old struggle between the Assassins, who fight for peace with free will, and the Knights Templars, who desire peace through control. The framing story is set in the 21st century and follows Desmond Miles as he relives the genetic memories of his ancestor Ezio Auditore da Firenze. The main narrative takes place at the height of the Renaissance in Italy during the 15th and early 16th century. Players can explore Florence, Venice, Tuscany and Forlì as they guide Ezio on a quest for vengeance against those responsible for betraying his family.

eighth Generation

It started on 2012 with the release of Wii U.
The generation was predicted to face competition from smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs.
One particular threat to the traditional console game sales model has 
been free to play model, wherein most users play free and either a small number of dedicated players spend enough to cover the rest, or the game is supported by advertising.
all use AMD GPUs, and two of them also use AMD CPUs on an x86-64 architecture similar to common personal computers
providing upgraded hardware supporting 4K resolution rendering.


Minecraft is a 2011 sandbox video game created by Swedish game developer Markus Persson and later developed by Mojang. The game allows players to build with a variety of different blocks in a 3D procedurally generated world, requiring creativity from players. Other activities in the game include exploration, resource gathering, crafting, and combat.

Multiple gameplay modes are available, including survival mode in which the player must acquire resources to build the world and maintain health, creative mode where players have unlimited resources to build with and the ability to fly, adventure mode where players can play custom maps created by other players with certain restrictions, spectator mode where players can freely move throughout a world without being allowed to destroy or build anything and be affected by gravity and collisions, and hardcore mode which is similar to survival mode but the player is given only one chance and the game difficulty is locked on hard. If the player dies on hardcore, the player does not respawn, and the world is unplayable. The Java Edition of the game allows players to create mods with new gameplay mechanics, items, textures and assets.

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