Seven video games that changed the world | BBC Ideas

Seven video games that changed the world | BBC Ideas


Here’s a brand new idea
from the United States which can turn your television set
into a game that two can play. You ready, Jen? Play. Pong, first released in 1972, was as simple as a game
can possibly be. Two white rectangles batting
a square ball back and forward as players attempted to win
points off each other. It tested reflexes and nerves and introduced an exciting
new medium to millions. Most importantly,
it turned pal against pal or sibling against sibling in a spot of friendly
or fierce competition. That’s something
the gaming industry is still doing to the delight of millions
to this day. Video games have come a long way
since Pong though. Your mother thinks you ought to be spending more time at your homework. What do you think about that? Undoubtably, yes. This old stereotype
of gamers being isolated loners is quite frankly boring and outdated. Video games have long since
come out of the bedroom and into the world. Shared and celebrated
by fans and communities across the globe. Here are six more
of the iconic titles that helped make that happen. Around five years after Pong Space Invaders was launched, bringing with it more colours,
more sophisticated music and a distinctive plot and mood. While sceptics dismissed Pong
as a passing novelty Space Invaders proved that video
games were not only here to stay but they were a massive and
extremely profitable global industry. And the little pixelated enemies
are still used to this day as an icon of video games as a whole. Waka-waka-ing his way
onto the scene in 1980, Pac-man was arguably
video gaming’s first real character. Urban legend states that his shape
was inspired by a pizza minus a couple of slices. Pac-man tried something different. In it you had to use your wits
and strategically evade enemies until you were strong enough
to chase them down instead. Pac-man quickly became
a pop culture phenomenon featuring on t-shirts,
ties, glasses, bags, balloons, board games, books, caps and any other merchandise that
sat around in one spot for too long. Of all the video game characters
to grace our consoles over the years, none have made an impact
quite like Mario. The side-scrolling platform game featured a plumber
trying to rescue a princess from a fire-breathing turtle and a labyrinth of pipes
and platforms to traverse while avoiding razor-toothed plants and even odder-looking mushrooms. And so of course
it captured gamers’ hearts and became one of the fastest-selling
video games of all time. Tomb Raider was the butt-kicking,
action-adventure game that sold PlayStation consoles
by the bucketload and introduced the world to fictional
archaeologist/treasure hunter Lara Croft. As one of the first ever
notable female game protagonists Lara’s Launch in 1996 had already
caused a media sensation. If Pac-man was
gaming’s first ever character and Mario its first mascot, Lara Croft was its first icon. Now you could argue that Lara is really more a source of male
titillation than female empowerment but she was one of the first
playable women I remember seeing in a video game and that representation
really mattered. World of Warcraft, launched in 2004, still stands as one of the biggest massively multiplayer online
role playing games of all time. Players could create an avatar,
assign them a class, race and skills and then send them out into
the world of Azeroth to explore, complete quests and meet
with other player characters. In its prime, the game had more
than 100 million registered users. World of Warcraft played a huge role in legitimising multiplayer
gaming for the masses. And I should know,
I spent six years on it. Minecraft is an open world game that lets players build, create
and alter environments by making, placing
and destroying blocks. It’s been extremely popular
with children and academics alike due to its incredible scope
for creating physics and logic-based puzzles and to scale replicas of everything
from the Starship Enterprise to the British Isles. A large part of its popularity is
that it’s an incredibly social game with a litany of devoted fans who work together to build entire
worlds out of little coloured blocks. Of course, there were many other
titles that changed the world over gaming’s long
and lustrous history. In the last decade the rise of indie
games, esports and mobile games have changed
the gaming landscape again, as players themselves diversify and look for new experiences
they can share with other players. Fans have known this for a long time
that video games aren’t just games – they’re art, they’re fun,
they’re beautiful. They can amaze, delight,
teach, empathise, empower. They’re a huge part of our culture
and they’re here to change the world. Thanks for watching! 🙂 Don’t forget to subscribe and click the bell to receive notifications for new videos. See you again soon!

3 thoughts on “Seven video games that changed the world | BBC Ideas”

  1. The list is getting longer , and Lara was only big cause her boobs were , sad you put her in , was more of you opinion than anything else.

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