Video games are present in many homes around the world, constituting a multi-billion dollar global industry . Its enormous diffusion should not surprise us if we take into account that the history and evolution of videogames goes back decades and covers a wide range of platforms, from arcade systems to home consoles, laptops and mobile devices.
History and evolution of video games
In the 1940s and 1950s, computers were so large and expensive that only universities and large corporations could afford them. However, at that time scientists began to think about the possibility of using them to play.
In 1950, Claude Shannon established the basic guidelines for programming a computer that could play chess, and two years later AS Douglas created OXO , the game of tic tac toe, as part of his doctoral thesis at Cambridge University. In 1962, Steve Russell invented Spacewar!, a space combat video game that was the first to be playable on multiple computing facilities.
In 1967, Ralph Baer and several employees of Sanders Associates, Inc. invented a multiplayer, multiprogram video game system that could be played on a television known as the “Brown Box.” Baer licensed the device from him to Magnavox, which in 1972 sold the system to consumers as the Odyssey, the first home video game console .
One of the Odyssey games inspired Atari to create Pong, the first arcade video game that came out in 1972. Five years later the company released the Atari 2600, a home console with interchangeable joysticks and cartridges that played games in various colors, which marked a second stage in the evolution of video game consoles.
However, in the early 1980s, the video game industry experienced a crisis due, among other factors, to the excess of low-quality games, which caused several companies in the sector to fail. In 1985, the recovery of the hand of the Nintendo Entertainment System began as when it landed in the United States it brought its improvements in graphics, colors, sound and 8-bit gameplay, as well as stricter regulations for third-party games developed for its system.
At that time, it launched a number of major video game franchises that still exist, such as Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid. Later, he released his 8-bit Game Boy and the famous Tetris game.
With the development of computer technology, the three-dimensional era of gaming began . In 1995, Sega released its Saturn system, the first 32-bit console to use CDs instead of cartridges. That same year Sony launched its Playstation. The following year, Nintendo released the Nintendo 64. However, Sony dominated the video game market, to the point that the Playstation 2 released in 2000 became the best-selling console of all time .
In 2005 and 2006, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 ushered in the modern era of high-definition gaming with its powerful graphics capabilities and particularly motion-sensitive remote controls. Then the evolution of video games spread to social media platforms and mobile devices, reaching a larger audience.
Today, new consoles from Sony and Microsoft have put virtual reality gaming in the spotlight , a technology that has the potential to change the way video games are experienced once again.
How has the video game industry grown?
The video game industry is experiencing exponential growth worldwide and already has a turnover of 147 billion euros , which represents 20% more than in 2019. In fact, spending on mobile games represents 86 billion euros , taking advantage of the 51 billion of the consoles.
Of course, this sector does not stop generating employment, demanding increasingly specialized professionals. The €7.993 million earmarked for employment in 2021 is expected to turn into €8.48 billion in 2023 . Spain is already among the top ten countries that dominate the video game market, with more than 650 active studios. However, if you want to work in this sector, you must have a degree or specialization.