In 1962, friends gathered at the computer lab to play this game. Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, describes its impact and desire to put the game into arcades. (Credits)
"Computer Space" (02:32)
Video game controls were too complicated. The first "Pong" machine broke overnight as a result of too many quarters being inserted. Bushnell created Atari.
"The Odyssey" (02:57)
Ralph Baer created the first video game console. Users would adhere overlays onto the TV to play different games. Bushnell released a home version of "Pong."
"Space Invaders" (03:14)
Competitors swarmed the marketplace. Atari released the Atari VCS (Video Computer System), but the public was more interested in "Space Invaders." America was obsessed with "Star Trek" and "Star Wars."
Atari releases "Asteroids" and "Missile Command" to compete with "Space Invaders." Toru Iwatani develops "Pac-Man." Midway Manufacturing Corporation releases "Ms. Pac-Man."
The home video game console grew in popularity by the end of the 1980s. Bushnell sold Atari to Warner Communications to mass-produce the system. Alan Miller, Larry Kaplan, David Crane, and Bob Whitehead created Activision.
"E.T." and "Pac-Man" (03:56)
Atari sales plummeted with the release of these video games. One Christmas, no front line sales were made because other titles were being sold for $5.
"Apple II" (05:54)
Today, video games are part of our lives and culture, but in 1983 toy retailers believed the fad had ended. Doug Engelbart demonstrated a computer with e-mail, hyperlinks, video conferencing, and a mouse in 1968. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs approached Atari about creating a user-friendly computer.
Level Editing (02:50)
People would program computer games from their home as a hobby; Rob Smith told his parents he was doing homework. "Zork" had no graphics; this type of game evolved into role-playing games (RPGs).
"Dungeons and Dragons" (03:49)
Richard Garriott created the "Ultima Series" for desktop computers. Video games grew longer and immersed players in alternative worlds. PC sales exploded once an operating system was unified.
"Super Mario Brothers" (04:17)
Investors and Retailers would not invest in video game software. Nintendo sales exploded after Shigeru Miyamoto developed "Donkey Kong." Rob the Robot helped convince toy retailers it was not another console.
"Nintendo Game Boy" (02:20)
Atari and Nintendo went to court to settle who had exclusive rights to Alexey Pajitnov's "Tetris."
"Dragon's Lair" (03:20)
The video game looked like a movie because it incorporated laser disc technology. It was immensely popular even though its gameplay was poor. Yu Suzuki developed simulators for "Outrun."
"Guitar Hero" (05:08)
"Street Fighter II" incorporated hurricane kicks, tiger knees, and dragon punches generating the third highest revenue. After Congress conducted hearings on violence in video games, developers created a rating board. "Doom" created a virtual reality the "Call of Duty" and "Halo" series adopted.
Rand and Robyn Miller developed a non-violent game that became an overnight success, utilizing CD-ROM technology. Sony releases the PlayStation, generating 3-D gameplay. Lara Croft revolutionized how women appeared in video games in "Tomb Raider."
"Grand Theft Auto" (05:02)
This video game revolutionized free roaming games where individuals could choose where to go instead of sticking to a specific path. Experts discuss controversial video games. The United Nations asked to ban RapeLay.
Ethically Responsible Gaming (03:04)
Developers wrote "Remission" for teenagers undergoing cancer treatment. "Darfur is Dying" is located in a refugee camp in Sudan. Akihiro Yokoi created "Tamagotchi" to respond to an individual's need to care for other creatures.
"The Sims" (04:06)
The top-selling computer game of all time gives players a family to care for. In 2011, developers reinvented it as a Facebook application. "Farmville" boasts 200 million players.
Developers want to create a game that is fun, thrilling, and not too easy or hard. Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games include "Ultima Online" and "World of Warcraft."
Gaming Addictions (04:36)
Players can become so immersed they lose their sense of reality. "Project Entropia" uses a cash-based system to gain rewards. Video games are the primary source of entertainment for Generation G.
Hospitals use Wii-fits as part of rehabilitation. Experts discuss the future of the video game industry. Google Glasses incorporate cellular phone technology.
Artificial Intelligence (03:09)
People use video games to communicate with others from all over the world. "Grand Theft Auto 5" generated over $1,000,000,000 in sales within the first three days of release.
Credits: Gameplay (03:04)
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