Video Games in Popular Culture: an Exposition

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Imagine for a moment, a world of death. For 200 years your family has been sealed away with a thousand other people, to protect you from the dangers outside. Now your father has disappeared, and it’s up to you to find him. After a harrowing escape from your subterranean home, you walk through a tunnel to the outside world, past dead bodies, stretched out in front of the door, as if to say “don’t leave us out here to die!” As you walk through the gate to the outside, and as your eyes slowly adjust to the sun you have never seen, a wasteland emerges before you. The world is devastated, destroyed and annihilated. Broken twisted hunks of metal lie next to a sign on the side of the mountain saying “scenic overlook” on your right, the broken remains of the interstate bridge stand as a monument to a destroyed culture. Petrified trees are all that remains of the local fauna. Off in the distance, all that remains is destruction. While you may think of this stunning visualization of a wonderful novel, this is actually one of the opening scenes from Todd Howard and Bethesda Game Studios’ “Fallout 3.” An examination of videogames in popular culture is a complicated one. There is a large debate as to what is the very first video game. The supposed earliest known video game was created by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann on a cathode ray tube in 1947. The game was a missile simulator similar to radar displays from World War II, and overlaid sheets of paper were used for targets since graphics were unknown at this time. On May 5, 1951, the NIMROD computer was presented in Britain. It used a panel of lights for its display and was used to play a game called “NIM”. Later, in 1952, Alexander S. Douglas made the first compu... ... middle of paper ... ...lieve that video games in popular culture are a misnomer. Videogames are not “in” popular culture, they are “a part of” popular culture, just like TV, radio, and motion pictures. Bibliography 1.) Kutner, Lawrence Ph.D. and Cheryl K. Olson, Sc.D. Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do . 1st. Simon & Schuster, 2008. 2.) "2008 SALES, DEMOGRAPHIC AND USAGE DATA." www.theesa.com. Jul/2008. Entertainment Software Association. 2 Nov 2008 . 3.) Hillis, Scott . "Video games don't create killers, new book says." Reuters UK 09May2008 2 Nov 2008 . 4.) "History of video games." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 2001. 2 Nov 2008 .

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