A video game or computer game is an electronic game that uses a user interface or input device to create visual feedback, such as a joystick, controller, keyboard, or motion sensing device. A visual display device, such as a TV, monitor, tablet, or virtual reality headset, displays this feedback. Audio feedback given through speakers or headphones, as well as other sorts of feedback, such as haptic technologies, are frequently used in video games.
Arcade games, console games, and personal computer (PC) games are all classified as video games based on their platform. The market has lately grown to include mobile gaming via smartphones and tablet computers, virtual and augmented reality systems, and distant cloud gaming. Based on the sort of gameplay and goal, video games are divided into a variety of genres.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the first video games were simple extensions of electronic games using video-like output from large room-size computers, while the first video games available to consumers were released in 1971 with the arcade game Computer Space, followed by Pong the following year, and the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972. The rapidly-growing industry was hit by the North American video game market meltdown in 1983, which was caused by a loss of publisher control and oversaturation. Following the collapse, the video game industry evolved and developed processes and processes for the production and distribution of video games, many of which are still in use today. To get a game to market today, a variety of abilities are required, including those of developers, publishers, distributors, retailers, console and other third-party manufacturers, and others.
The video game business has grown in commercial significance since the 2010s. The expansion of the business and the movement to games as a service is being driven by expanding Asian markets and mobile gaming on smartphones in particular. The worldwide video game market is expected to generate annual sales of US$159 billion by 2020, which is three times the size of the worldwide music business in 2019 and four times the size of the global cinema business in 2019.
In the beginning, games were played on interactive electronic devices with a variety of display styles. The oldest example dates from 1947, when Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann applied for a patent on a “Cathode ray tube Amusement Device,” which was granted on 14 December 1948 as U.S. Patent 2455992. It consisted of an analog device that enabled a user to manipulate a vector-drawn dot on the screen to mimic a missile being fired at targets that were drawings attached to the screen, and it was inspired by radar display technology. Other early examples include Christopher Strachey’s Draughts game for the Nimrod computer at the 1951 Festival of Britain; OXO, a tic-tac-toe computer game by Alexander S. Douglas for the EDSAC in 1952; Tennis for Two, an electronic interactive game engineered by William Higinbotham in 1958; and Spacewar!, written by MIT students Martin Graetz, Steve Russell, and Wayne Wiitanen for the DEC PDP-1 computer in 1959. Each game had its own display: NIMROD played Nim with a panel of lights, while OXO played tic-tac-toe with a graphical display. Tennis for Two utilized an oscilloscope to provide a side view of a tennis court, and Spacewar! used the vector display of the DEC PDP-1 to show two spacecraft fighting one other.
These forerunner technologies paved the way for today’s video game roots. In 1966, while working at Sanders Associates, Ralph H. Baer devised a control system for playing a primitive game of table tennis on a television screen. Baer built the prototype “Brown Box” with Sanders’ consent. Sanders patented Baer’s innovations and licensed them to Magnavox, who launched the Magnavox Odyssey, the first home video game device, in 1972. Separately, after watching Spacewar! in action at Stanford University, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney came up with the concept of making a smaller version of the game that would run on a less cost computer with a coin-operated feature. In 1971, Computer Space, the first arcade game, was introduced. Bushnell and Dabney went on to found Atari, Inc., and in 1972, with Allan Alcorn, released their second arcade game, the popular ping pong-style Pong, which was inspired by the Odyssey’s table tennis game. Atari was sued by Sanders and Magnavox for patent infringement on Baer’s inventions, but the case was resolved out of court with Atari paying for permanent rights to the patents. Following their agreement, Atari proceeded with plans to deliver a home version of Pong by Christmas 1975. The video game business was founded by the success of the Odyssey and Pong, both as arcade games and home machines. For their achievements, both Baer and Bushnell have been dubbed the “Father of Video Games.”
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