Wk.3 – Radiance Zeigler

3 Jun

After watching this weeks lecture,  I learned that there are a number of aspects that are very influential to early computer culture and the development of early games. One of the aspects that I found to have extreme importance would have to begin with Ralph Bear and his creation of the home TV game later named The Odyssey. Licensed and released by Maganavox, this system becomes a huge success! I believe this is an important aspect of early game culture not only because it was the first game that was commercialized but also because it was the first to be hard wired with several games included. Previous games, like Tennis for two, for instance could only be played where the device was located, (in Higinbotham’s lab in this case) not at home. Games like Spacewar were also very popular but still wasn’t as influential as The Odyssey because one, it was only really played among college students and two it was just a single game, not a system. Another influential aspect of The Odyssey would have to be that it was endorsed by spokesperson Frank Sinatra, who at the time, was fairly popular and prominent in mainstream media. Collectively, these are what made The Odyssey so influential to the development of early games.

Another aspect that proved to be influential was the beginning of text-based personal computer games, mainly Hunt the Wumpus and Adventure. These games stood out to me because not only were they two of the very first text-based games but also because they were not commercialized. Being that they were freely distributed across universities throughout the U.S. over ARPAnet, these games allowed users to freely explore and “test” this new world of gaming before they actually became commercialized.

Overtime, these aspects continued to manifest and evolve into the gaming industry that we know today partly by continuing to create games for commercial use and also by improving the graphics of many games. I believe that if it weren’t for the love of money in our capitalistic society in addition to the improvements of the detailing in gaming, they would not have evolved as quickly as they did.

2 Responses to “Wk.3 – Radiance Zeigler”

  1. freykayl June 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

    Overall, this post was informative and well written. It touched on a few key points of the lecture that were important in understanding the development of early video games and how computer culture has affected those games. I found your post to be similar to mine, as we both mentioned Ralph Baer and The Odyssey as being influential parts of the early video game era. As you stated, it was the first game to be commercialized and this paved the way for future commercialization of video games. Ralph Baer ultimately created the game and designed it to be successful, with the help of Magnavox. I also found it interesting that you mentioned ARPAnet because I believe ARPAnet is a critical piece of the success for early games. Without ARPAnet, many of these games wouldn’t have been able to be widely shared among college students and universities. The games as we know them today wouldn’t have been able to test out their popularity without ARPAnet and as a result, some of these games maybe wouldn’t have ever been commercialized.

  2. Quishanna Coleman June 4, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

    I really enjoyed how you emphasized the importance of the Odyssey. When I thought of early, influential games my first thought was Spacewar! simply because it was the first popular game that spread the way that it did. But Odyssey was the first commercialized game that was able to reach a bigger demographic of people than just computer scientist and college students. Also, though I appreciated you bringing up the relevance of Text-based games, I wish that you would have also included the introduction of graphics. Graphics being included in Text-based games is a step in the game world that I feel shouldn’t be ignored or skipped over. It helps tell the story of how the progression of technology was directly related to the progression of video games. Playing Text-based games didn’t look very fun (or at least not fun for me) so adding graphics to games made it appealing and less intimidating to individuals such as young children and adults.