Today you can play Donkey Kong online for free. But anyone who is old enough to have enjoyed the game when it was launched in 1981 knows that no online version will beat the original arcade game. Nintendo’s Donkey Kong was the foundation for Mario who of course is one of the number one gaming personalities in the world.
The history of gaming began way before handheld video game consoles were invented. But let us skip the ancient history and go straight to the era of home electronics…
Game machines hit the market
The concept of a game machine was launched as early as 1940 when a Nim game was presented at the New York World Fair. Thousands of people tried the mathematical game and marveled at how the computer outsmarted nearly all of them. This was well before online casino games hit the scene and players started to look for game machines that were easier to beat!
It would take another 27 years before the first game machines for home use were distributed. With Brown Box, players could gather in front of their television set and chase each other with cubes. Some call this game the father of all modern video games.
The engineer Ralp Baer and his team even preceded Atari who some mistakenly think developed the first video game console. But the Brown Box that became Magnavox by license did not survive for long. At that time, playing video games at home was still something very new. It would take another 20 years or so before all American youth sat with their joysticks in front of the TV as soon as time permitted it.
Atari’s first video game, Pong, came along in 1977. It took the world by storm. Pong can be seen as one of the first video games to become popular among the masses. Even now it is listed as one of the most important Atari games.
The importance of multi-player gaming
The Brown Box had the multi-player feature that has been so important to modern gaming history. Whether you look at network games, skill games or pure chance games, it is obvious that players enjoy connecting with others.
Competing solely against the computer might have its charm. But when you beat other human beings at chess, blackjack, sports games and more, it gives another kind of kick. This is why online casinos invest a lot in their live departments where players can virtually meet around the gaming table.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the computer games mostly attracted the younger generation. But as the gaming culture has developed and games have become easy to access through the internet, older people with an interest in games have found their way to the consoles.
Later studies have even shown that some video games can improve cognitive functions in seniors so there is a growing trend for introducing those who were parents to the first video gamers to this pastime, as a health initiative.
A new world online
When the Internet became everybody’s hangout place in the early 1990s the games soon came along. New opportunities for multi-player games were introduced. The first online casinos let people stay at home and play their favorite casino games like blackjack and roulette for money on their screens.
Connecting with others from all over the world is a concept that never ceases to amaze us. Every day, players from all over the world connect in different types of games. We still enjoy competing against each other in various games, but lately it has become increasingly popular to bet on others that are playing in network games.
Betting money on network games like Dota is called e-sport. It works much like regular sports betting where you guess on outcomes of games and sports events. But here the “athletes” sit on comfortable gaming chairs focused on the screen.
E-sports is very much part of the modern history of gaming where the gamer has become a hero. Not only in the virtual world where he plays a role. People who watch him lead a team or move his way through game plots find it entertaining and impressive. Impressive enough to bet money on the outcome!
A virtual world to live in
The modern games work on TV-screens, computers as well as on mobile phones and tablets. And you don’t always have to choose one platform or stick to a certain console. Many games are made to be cross platform. This means that you can start playing a game on your home computer and then continue with the same game on your smartphone when you leave your house.
Using graphics, animations and sound effects, the game developers have managed to create virtual worlds in which we can live virtual lives. Using VR-sets we can immerse in the make believe worlds in a way that would have seemed like a total fantasy to the first video gamers.
And that is where we are now. Looking at news about updated game consoles, such as the new PlayStation expected to hit the markets in the coming years, VR is an obvious ingredient. Not only that, as we create virtual personas we might want to bring them into different game settings.
The future of gaming is almost here
Over the next few years we will most likely see the virtual gaming worlds expand and develop into experiences that are mind blowing to say the least. Imagine that you start by playing in World of Warcraft. Then you take your virtual hero for a round of blackjack in an online casino after which you burn the money you won on Mafia Wars!
We are looking at exciting changes in the gaming community and fusions are most likely to happen. Just how and when is not certain, but it looks like more revolutionary changes could take place during the coming 5 years than have happened between the launch of the first Atari game and the first online casino.