Early Computer Games
History of Computer Games
When computers were first developed using microprocessors back in the 1970's, computer games were some of the first applications developed. These early forms of computer entertainment captivated children and adults alike. One of the first such games was "Pong". It was a kind of Ping-Pong that could be played against an opponent or against the computer. The computer screen displayed a paddle for each player, which was just a simple line. A "ball" was displayed that moved across the screen. This ball was just a light that was moved by the computer in a predictable path. When the ball struck something like the top of the screen or a player's paddle, the ball would have it's trajectory altered to a new path. Players had to hit the ball with their paddle to reverse the ball towards their opponent. If they missed the ball, a point would be scored by the other player. Like Ping-Pong, when a player reached the maximum score, the entire game was over. Pong was released by Atari in 1972 and started the video gaming industry. This early computer game was an instant hit and proved that small computers were going to be a huge commercial success.
Early Computer Video games
The video game pioneers
After Atari made Pong, several other games began to become available. Many of these became quite popular. The Pac-Man video game, released by Namco in 1980, was much more complex than Pong and has been an immense success. Pac-Man added several elements that advanced the video gaming industry. Players were able to control their character and gain points through controllable actions. A maze was diplayed that required players to successfully navigate. Computer generated monsters persued the player's character and could easily eliminate the player. Computer generated music was played while the game was active. Pac-Man entered the video gaming market when shooting games such as Asteroids and Space Invaders were popular. Despite the later entry of Pac-Man into the industry, it has been credited with being the most famous arcade game of all time. Namco later introduced an authorized spin-off of Pac-Man but many un-authorized spin-offs made their way into the computer gaming market. Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man Plus and Junior Pac-Man were early computer game applications that built on the success of Pac-Man. These titles were among about 30 that Namco identified during lawsuits that they initiated against other companies.