Video games have evolved to become one of the biggest in the entertainment industry. What began as a basic combination of dots and bleeps grew to a multi-billion dollar industry and followed by millions of people across the globe. Today, video games are available on various platforms; console, arcade, mobile, handheld, and PC. However, despite the various platforms, there is no denying that this interactive form of entertainment is nothing without the PC. As a tribute, let us take a moment and look back on the humble origins and evolution of PC games.
The Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device
Although not entirely related to PC games, the Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device plays a huge role in the evolution of PC games. According to its early definition, a video game is a term pertaining to a device that provides “a video signal transmitted to a cathode ray tube (CRT) that creates a rasterized image on a screen.” Although the definition widely accepted today states that a video game “generally encompasses any game played on hardware built with electronic logic circuits that incorporates an element of interactivity and outputs the results of the player’s actions to a display,” the influence of the CRT is hard to dismiss nonetheless.
The Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device also dubbed as the earliest form interactive electronic game with an electronic display inspired the development of the concept of video games. This unique contraption features a CRT connected to an Oscilloscope operated by knobs and switches. Although it does not employ the use of any computer components, it introduced the concept that would push innovators to the next phase of development.
Bertie the Brain
In 1950, a computer game called Bertie the Brain became the first games that allow players to go against an AI (artificial intelligence) in a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. As you can see in the image above, Bertie the Brain is a huge contraption that allows players to interact with a computer program. A year later, similar contraptions popped up in various expositions. Several examples include the Nimrod (1951), OXO (1952), Tennis for Two (1958), Spacewar! (1961), and Pong (1972).
The first form or generation of video games, unbelievably, comes in the form of Interactive fiction. One of the earliest and most influential video game titles is Adventure. As the title suggests, Adventure or Colossal Cave Adventurer, allows the player to explore a mysterious cave to uncover the treasures within its bowels. Unlike today’s video games that employ the use of directional buttons/joysticks, Adventure encourages the player to type various commands to explore the cave (see image above). Interactive fiction is also the first form of RPG games.
IBM PC Gaming
IBM PC or the International Business Machine Personal Computer played a huge role in the evolution of PC Games. This machine became one of the catalysts in the introduction of PC Games. One of the very first titles introduced in IBM PCs is Microsoft Adventure. As you may have noticed, Microsoft Adventure is an interactive fiction similar to Adventure, not to mention that it uses the same gameplay mechanics governed by inputting various commands using the keyboard.
In 1982, arcade games like Frogger and Centipede began popping up in Atari 400. Thus began the porting of other successful titles like Space Invaders and Pac-Man for the Atari 800. By this time, Arcades and consoles still dominate the video game market despite the fact that PCs are essential elements in the development of these games.
This operating system helped shaped the modern PC gaming scene. Microsoft Windows transformed what used to be a machine solely for productivity into one of the best gaming platforms available to date. The popularity of Microsoft’s operating system paved the way for the creation of LAN parties, which is the predecessor of today’s online multiplayer games.
LAN Parties originated as a simple hobby between small groups of friends who come together to play multiplayer games. Unlike today’s online multiplayer sessions, LAN Parties consists of 3-4 players. The first of these parties are usually set in basements and other areas where players can meet up and connect their PCs together.
Overtime, LAN parties became an international sensation with the development of competitive games. In 2013, an event called DreamHack in Jönköping, Sweden made the world record for LAN Parties with 17,403 connected systems.
Online gaming is the modern counterpart or an evolved version of LAN parties. The improvement in the internet connection, not to mention the accessibility made online gaming one of the highest-grossing genres not only PC but in the console and mobile gaming as well.
By 2019, online games managed to generate over 16 billion worldwide across all platforms. Online gaming has elevated the quality of competitive games. Although mostly available on mobile, some of the best online multiplayer games are available on PC. This is because, despite its late introduction to video games, the PC platform has evolved to become the most powerful gaming machine available.
PC Games in 2020
PCs in 2020 remain one of the best platforms to play games especially now that movements outside our homes are limited. One of the advantages of being a PC gamer is the number of possibilities not to mention options available the player can explore. One of these options is emulation that allows players to play almost any game (especially exclusives) from other platforms straight to their PC. Whether if its console, handheld, or arcade, if you are a PC player then you have no problem accessing or playing those games. All you need is a decent video game emulator and you are good to go.
If it’s mobile games evolution you want however, some of the emulators available eat most of your PCs memory. Nevertheless, there are select sites that allow players to download mobile games straight to their PC. One such site is Games.LOL, which, for the most part, is one of the most trusted hidden gems when it comes to mobile game emulations. Browse and download from their colossal library of video games free of charge without the hassles of Ads. Check out the site today and enjoy endless hours of gaming straight from your desktop.