I. The Video or Computer Game Industry
The now multi-billion dollar video game industry starting slowly. In 1972, Atari developed Pong, a simple tennis-like game played on the television screen. Pongwas followed by Space Invadersin 1978 (Griffiths 223). Since then, thousands of games are available over the Internet, on CDROM for personal computers, hand-held units, and television console units like Playstation, Nintento, and Sega. Further, the market has developed beyond just entertainment, now providing educational games that make learning fun. Commercially successful titles sell around 350,000 copies and a few go beyond sales of one million units (Sanchez-Crespo Dalmau 3). Top selling games like Myst (for PCs) and Final Fantasy (for consoles) have sold over six million units (Sanchez-Crespo Dalmau 3).
II. Video Games and an Overview of How They Work
Put simply, video games are interactive entertainment with sophisticated graphics and speed. They challenge the player’s mental agility, as in games like Myst and it’s sequel Riven (where players solve puzzles and obtain fragments of a story to complete the game) and/or hand-eye agility, like All-Star Baseball, Combat Flight Simulator, and Mortal Combat, typically at increasing levels of difficulty, with some games taking over 100 hours to complete.
Although not all games involve opponents and competition, games that are played off-line (not connected to the Internet) allow players to interact with the “virtual” inhabitants of the game. Games that can be played on-line, facilitate multi-player interactivity and competition over the Internet.
Once a video game is loaded, either from CDROM or downloaded from the Internet, the player can ente...
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Griffiths, Mark. “Computer Game Playing in Early Adolescence.” Youth and Society. (1997): 223-235.
Funk, Jeanne B., et al. “Rating Electronic Games: Violence Is in the Eye of the Beholder.” Youth and Society. 30.2 (1999): 283-213.
Peckham, Virginia. “Well-Connected.” Curriculum Administrator. 36.11 (2000): 26-32. 7 pp. 15
Nov. 2001 <http://web3.infotrac.galegroup.com/itw/infomark/789/59/42923569w3/
Perry, Tekla S. and Paul Wallich. “Video Games.” McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology 8th ed. 1997.
Pooley, Eric. “Portrait of a Deadly Bond.” Time. 10 May 1999: 26-32.
Quittner, Joshua. “Are Video Games Really So Bad?.” Time. 10 May 1999: 50-58.
Seid, Nancy. “Why War Games Aren’t Child’s Play.” Parents. Nov 2000: 167-174.
Tedeschi, Bob. “Information Overload.” Parents. Nov 2000: 167-174.
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