A brief history of video games (Part I) – Safwat Saleem

A brief history of video games (Part I) – Safwat Saleem

Hi, I’m Medium Invader
from the classic video game Space Invaders,
and I want to tell you a little bit
about where video games came from.
A video game is an electronic game
that has an interface designed for human interaction
on a video device.
Video games are used by scientists,
the military,
and people like you,
and their evolution has spread across arcades,
smart phones,
and all kinds of other electronics.
These days video games are everywhere,
but they were actually made in science labs.
In fact, the earliest U.S. video game patent on record
was in 1948,
and at the time it was referred to
as a cathode-ray tube amusement device.
That’s a mouthful!
Some of the earliest video games include
the Nimrod computer,
Tennis for Two,
and my personal favorite, Spacewar!
But none of these early video games
were ever sold to the public
because they were either too huge
or too expensive
to get out of the lab.
This all changed when a man named Ralph Baer
looked at his television screen and wondered
how else it might be used.
In 1972, Baer’s idea to get video games
out of the science lab and into the living room
led to the release of a game console
called Odyssey.
Odyssey allowed you to play a game on your TV.
At about the same time,
two other people, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney,
were working on something similar
in a little company called Atari.
You might have heard of it,
and even if you haven’t,
I’m sure that your Dad has.
Atari’s first major game release was in 1972,
an arcade game called Pong.
It was an immediate hit,
and it’s credited
as the first commercially successful video game.
Atari then released a home version of Pong in 1974.
By 1978, competition between Atari
and another game company called Midway
was heating up.
Midway had licensed an arcade game
for the Japanese company, Taito,
that put them on the map.
The game:
Space Invaders.
It featured iconic actors, like me,
and it went on to become
the second highest selling arcade game of all time.
Space Invaders also helped kick off
what is known as the Golden Age of Arcade Games.
In response, Atari followed
with the release of the arcade game Asteroids,
which ranked sixth on the list
of highest selling arcade games.
It was a good game,
but it’s no Space Invaders.
By 1980, color came to arcade games,
and this was also the year
that another video gaming milestone was born.
Pac-Man, created by the Japanese company Namco,
was brought to the U.S. by Midway.
Important to the spread
of video games into popular culture,
Pac-Man was a character that could be licensed.
It wasn’t long before it had a song on the charts,
a Saturday morning television show,
and all sorts of other products.
In just a year, Pac-Man arcade games
made over one billion dollars in quarters.
Then, in 1981, a company called Nintendo
started making waves in the U.S. video game market
with their release of Donkey Kong.
It was the earliest video game
to have a story line.
The story went a bit like this:
Donkey Kong is the pet
of a carpenter named Jumpman.
Jumpman mistreats his pet ape,
so the ape steals his girlfriend,
leaving the game player to assume the role
of Jumpman and rescue the girl.
Jumpman was eventually renamed to Mario.
Other iconic arcade games from the early 80s include
Dragon’s Lair,
and Mario Brothers.
Perhaps the last iconic game considered
to be part of the Golden Age of Arcade Games
is Double Dragon.
It was the first really successful example
of the beat-them-up genre.
It was released in 1987,
and, like Donkey Kong,
it featured a damsel in distress storyline,
a storyline common in many video games.
By the mid-90s, the Golden Age of Arcade Games
was coming to an end,
and the home game console
was gaining in popularity.
While arcade games continued
to decline in sales over the years,
the popularity of video games was merely beginning,
and we’ll talk about that
and a lot more
in part two of a brief history of video games.

100 thoughts on “A brief history of video games (Part I) – Safwat Saleem”

  1. Did you know… why we associate video games with boys? That's because after the gaming market plummeted, Nintendo wanted to make a big return with their new console. But by that time, the children's toy section was divided between boys and girls. So they needed to choose one gender to market it to. And they chose boys. Check out Adam Conover's take on this, it's really interesting.

  2. Why is it every time people do a history on video games, they always exclude Bertie the Brain, invented at the University of Toronto in 1950, and is technically the worlds first video game ever built.😐😑🕹

  3. Safwat, I love this video. I never knew the history of video games, and it was quite interesting to learn. (I would also like to say that I just watched your TED talk on language and stutters. In no way could I tell that you had a stutter, or that you were hard to understand in this video. It was all clear to me. I have worked a lot with speech differences and am even learning a foreign language myself. I see that a lot of society thinks we need to speak a certain way. But I recently learned that everyone has an accent. Even those who do not think they have an accent have one to someone who does not speak that dialect or way. That is a take home message for me. I hope that you continue producing videos, because I find they are very informational!
    P.S. One of my favorite games is Pac-Man. Now I just got into the video games of a more recent era….

  4. Then, how can i connect my new ps3 dualshock3 controller to my ps3?
    Hopinh someone can help us. Thank you

  5. their evolution has spread across arcades, consoles, computers, smartphones, and all kinds of other electronics- shows phone and ipad
    yep all the different electronics

  6. OML!!!!! Talking about popular video games!!!! Does not mention the legend of Zelda!?!?!?! How!!!! Legend of Zelda is so popular!!!

  7. min: 3:16 , nintendo reach 1981 to United state , year of born nintendo 1977 , and 1972 for united state , Nintendo number #1 ; more info : https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anexo:Videoconsolas_de_Nintendo ; NINTENDO WIN , ¿what about ps4 and xbox.?

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