Quishanna’s Third Week

3 Jun

The biggest influences leading to the development of early games were hacker culture and the different levels of technology that they had available to them. Hackers, similar to hackers today, were able to modify hardware and software to obtain the results that they wanted; however the hackers I am referring to were not criminals but extremely skilled computer scientist. The beginning of hacker culture as well as some of the earliest developed games can both be found in the Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) which was made up of computer users at MIT. These members wanted to find a way to demonstrate the capabilities of MIT’s PDP-1 main frame; as a way of showing off this new technology. Spacewar! was created for that sole purpose. It was amazing in both its ability to entertain as well as its ability to demonstrate the progression of technology.

Another technological aspect that helped the spread of gaming other than actual computers was the ARPA Network which was created to link separated faculties; allowing them to share files and resources. Through the ARPA Network hackers were able to share games such as Spacewar! and later on Hunt the Wumpus and Adventure. Colleges were big users of ARPA Net so a new demographic of people were exposed to these games who were able to play and fall in love.

As computers continued to advance, the need for more advanced games emerged. After Spacewar! another big hit was developed called the Odyssey. This new game consisted of moving dots across the screen which was initially very popular but as I said, as computers advance so must video games. Moving a dot around a screen with horrible graphics can only be entertaining for so long. It is during this time that we see Text-based games beginning to appear for the personal computer. Beginning with Hunt the Wumpus being distributed through magazines and ARPA Net Text-based games became extremely popular. So popular in fact that they began to be sold commercially which can be seen with Adventureland. But once again, advancements needed to be made. Soon graphics were added to these Text-based games which opened up the market for consumers even further. These games were sold for PC’s and consisted of different types to appeal to many different people. Graphic games such as Mixed-Up Mother Goose were aimed at young children, King’s Quest to older children and young adults, and even adult games were created such as Leisure Suit Larry. Needless to say, as computers began to enter the average people’s homes so did virtual games. Hackers not only helped development the computer world, they were the ones to pave the way to video games.

Comments are closed.