There are certain defining moments in our childhood that we will always remember; our first fight, our first A+ on a test, our first birthday in school, and if you have had a childhood similar to millions of others in the world, then your first video game!! The twelfth day of September marks the day when video game lovers celebrate the ‘Video Games Day’, with the same excitement as when they buy any new video games!
The evolution of the video game scenario has been remarkable. Anyone born around the 1970s will swear by their Ms. Pac Man arcade game machine, while the teenagers of today hold their PSP consoles dear. When it comes to entertainment, video games have since decades been an exciting escape, thanks to the growth in the technology sector and the willingness of tech companies to invest in designing video games.
Let us take a brief look at how the video games of today are so different from those that were enjoyed by our parents or grandfathers…
The pocket money of our older generations was mostly spent on gaming arcades, playing classics such as Atari’s Star Wars, Space Invaders, Popeye or PacMan. It was not uncommon to see brothers take turns or even fight over who gets to play the next round of Mario Bros. Playing a shooting game like Contra with your best friend was a regular feature on the weekends or post school. Whatever the game, it was a fixed part of the lives of kids of the 1970s.
The mid 1980s saw the emergence of the handheld gaming consoles. The simple interface and portability made it immensely popular. If 1989 saw the Nintendo Game Boy, 2004 saw the Nintendo DS. The lovers of such gaming today are seen with the latest Nvidia Shield Portable in their hands.
The next big thing in the video games world was the home video game consoles. Although there had been many versions of it in the decades before, the consoles like Nintendo Entertainment System and Atari 2600 saw the best of the home gaming scene. If Tetris helped you to understand logic and thinking on your feet, then Adventure Island showed you how to ride on a fire-breathing dragon. The kids of the 1990s know how it feels like to be Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan while playing Kung Fu. Duck Hunt was the first hunting that any kid who ever played on their NES indulged in.
PC games were the next stage in gaming evolution. Atari, Hasbro, Microsoft, Sega, Rockstar ruled the computer gaming segment with their range of games.
The latest fad in video gaming is obviously, mobile phone gaming. Catch hold of any kid on the road or in a mall and ask him what he prefers, ‘Angry Birds’ or ‘Subway Surfer’. You will never be met with a blank stare as all of them are well aware of these games thanks to their parent’s mobile phones and tablets.
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Online gaming too has become the new mode of gaming, bringing players from across the globe together through multiplayer games.
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Today’s Sony PSPs and Microsoft Xbox, Battle Ships and Halo, may soon be overtaken by virtual reality headsets, where the player just has to put on the headset, pull up a screen in front of their eyes, and start gaming!
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Irrespective of whether it is the decades old arcade machine or the latest Sony PSP console, the character of video games haven’t changed. They are still the means to form everlasting bonds and friendships, learn a thing or two about sportsmanship, and broaden the creativity of the player. Their forms may change, but what they stand for, never will. So, to all you video game lovers out there, Happy Video Games Day!