History of Video Games Essay

History of Video Games Essay

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Did you know that Pong; the first game made by Atari, wasn’t originally meant to be released to the public? A new Atari employee was given the assignment of making it simply as a test of his game design skills. Since Pong became a hit, video games have been a large part of the entertainment business. They have found their way into homes all over the world.

“You can’t say that video games grew out of pinball, but you can assume that video games wouldn’t have happened without it. It’s like bicycles and cars. One industry leads to the other and then they exist side by side. But you had to have bicycles to one day have motor cars” (Steven Baxter). In 1931 David Gottlieb invented the first pinball machine. Gottlieb was a short, stocky person. He had brown hair and smoked a cigar. His machine was called “Baffle Ball.” Baffle Ball had no flippers or scoring devices. One’s score was determined by which scoring pocket the ball went into. One had to keep score in one’s head. The only moving part was the plunger; the part which one pulls back to launch the ball. The only way one could control which scoring pocket the ball went in was to shake the cabinet in different directions. To give a sense of how old baffle ball is picture this: seven balls for a penny. Because of Gottlieb’s success, imitators sprang up everywhere. Two of them were David Rockola and Ray Moloney. Moloney’s first machine was called “Ballyhoo.” It sold so well that Moloney renamed his company Bally. His and Rockola’s machines were cheaper but were lower quality. Before inventing Baffle Ball, Gottlieb invented a novelty game called Husky Grip. It tested the player’s strength. All kinds of novelty games were popular in arcades before video games.

The first innovation i...


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...designing Wii software especially for surgical training. Doctors who had once played video games for more than three hours a week completed a scored and timed course of surgical drills much faster and more accurately than doctors who hadn’t played video games.






Works Cited
Inskeep, Steve. “Surgery Trainees Warm Up Using Video Games.” Morning Edition. NPR. WNYC, New York. 21 Jan, 2008.


Kent, Steven. The Ultimate History of Video Games. New York: Random House, 2001.


Polsson, Ken. “A Brief Timeline of Video Game Systems.” http://islandnet.com/~kpolsson/vidgame/mini.htm 2/10/08


Rasser, James. “Nurse, Joystick!” The Atlantic Monthly. June, 2007 pp. 36.


“The Gaming Console Nearly 50 Years Old.” http://www.gamingdump.com/consoleevolution.html Gaming Dump. 2/12/08.


Thompson, Jim. Game Design. Hoboken, New Jersey: Quarto Publishing Inc. 2007.

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