The History of video games: 1980-1990

The 80’s were in my option is the best era ever; I mean just look at that hair and the music; my god it is superior to anything now days (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhWE0we4FaQ&feature=kp this song has got to be one of my top ten)

The 80’s were also a time for video games; the demand for them was on the up and the business was going well, the arcades were crammed and everything looked steady. At the start of the 80’s the second generation of gaming was going well and in 1980 the legendary Pacman was released.

Pac-Man was originally an arcade game produced by Namco but due to the popularity it has been remade time and time again for multiple consoles and mobile devices. It even got its own 3D game in 1999 on the PS1 for its 20th anniversary. To finish talking about Pac-Man I will share with you a quote from one of my favourite films; “Did you know that the original name for Pac-Man was Puck-Man? You'd think it was because he looks like a hockey puck but it actually comes from the Japanese phrase 'Paku-Paku,' which means to flap one's mouth open and closed. They changed it because they thought Puck-Man would be too easy to vandalize, you know, like people could just scratch off the P and turn it into an F or whatever.” (Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World - 2010).

Continuing from Pacman just a year later other famous games such as Donkey Kong and Frogger were produced; this meant that arcade games was at its peak but this was all about the change. In 1983 the third generation of gaming came about thanks to Nintendo releasing the Famicom home gaming console. other consoles were released but failed to pick up a good audience Nintendo is where gaming at home starts. However due to the rise in popularity of consoles many small companies started creating there own making the market over supplied. This then lead to the great video game crash; there was too many consoles using the same software, there was nothing unique and initiative. 
Due to the unstable console market the PC market started to strive; computers 
such as the Apple and Commodore 64 were now affordable for families. This was great for computer games because of families buying these because they were multi-purpose, you could use them for games and prepare yourself for a job in the future. The home consoles such as the Atari 2600, Intelivision and ColecoVison were the ones to take the worst of it; this disaster led to the end of Atari. Their game E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial released at this time has gone down in history as one of the worst commercial failures in video gaming and one of the worst games ever released. Such a failure left Atari bankrupt, this meant that the reign of the US was now over and Japan took over with Nintendo on top. As for Atari's several million unsold E.T. games they got shipped off to a landfill loosing them a heap of money. 

After the great crash Nintendo decided to reboot their Famicom by making the NES (Nintendo entertainment system) this then became the best selling console of its time. Nintendo redesigned the old console into the NES so that people wouldn't associate it with the video game crash. This brought consoles back on to the market and gave it more interest; in 1985 the well known and loved game Super Mario Bros. is born. 
It sold 19 million copies and revived the video game market; the platform game features an Italian plumber named Mario saving his beloved Princess Peach from Bowser the antagonist. The game features many bright colours and magic mushrooms, it is commonly linked to the use of narcotics; never the less it is still one of the best child friendly games of all time, with many sequels to come through out the years. 

Nintendo continues to lead the video game industry; in 1986 another famous and well loved video game series begins. The legend of Zelda is published by Nintendo this game has a similar goal to Super Mario however it is a fantasy style action adventure game; the protagonist Link has to save his Princess Zelda from the evil king Ganondof, sound familiar? Just kidding the legend of Zelda has a massive story behind it involving the power of a relic called the triforce. The storyline and game timeline are not an easy thing to get your head around but as long as you don't call Link Zelda you won't have fan girls sending you death threats. 

In around about 1988 the fourth generation of gaming came about introducing the Sega Mega Drive. Sega tried to fight Nintendo for the top spot however Nintendo had another trick up their sleeve and released the Gameboy just a year later; the Gameboy is a 8-bit handheld gaming device. The Gameboy was a massive success even though it had a lot of competition from other consoles at the time. Nintendo had truly hit a home run and continued to make magnificent consoles, in 1990 the SNES (Super Nintendo entertainment system) was released; it had the power to run the first set of 3D games such as Starfox, even though the graphics were crude this lead the way for 3D games. 

Then boom the fifth generation of games came along and Sony brought the PlayStation to the market in 1994. The PS1 competed with the N64 from Nintendo released in 1996 and the Sega Saturn released in 1994. These consoles continued to produce 3D games following from the SNES. 
These consoles could run 3D graphics featuring beautiful blocky boobs in the Tomb Raider games.

In 1996 Sony made Crash Bandicoot, their version of Sega's sonic the hedgehog and Nintendo's Mario. They decided to make Crash an animal that people were not accustomed to; mimicking Sonic's success. (Crash showing Nintendo who's boss  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTi5EaocGaY).

In summary the 80's started out with arcade dominance then moved to Nintendo with the Famicom, the great crash then wiped out Atari and the PC rose to dominance. Nintendo came back and made the NES bringing them to the top of the video game industry they continued their reign up to the end of the 90's fighting Sony and Sega for dominance. The main difference through this time was the transition of 2D games to 3D games, the advancement of video games in just over two decades was astonishing and it pathed the way for the games we know and love today. Finally I will leave you with another amazing song from the 80's featuring Pac-Man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brVsGL4cPzE.

Online Education. Video game timeline. Available: http://www.onlineeducation.net/videogame_timeline. Last accessed 19/04/2014.
Nadia Oxford. (2011). Ten Facts about the Great Video Game Crash of '83. Available: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2011/09/21/ten-facts-about-the-great-video-game-crash-of-83. Last accessed 19/04/2014.

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