In the days when video gaming was a niche pastime, nobody could possibly have imagined that these simple games would have such a profound effect on popular culture. Pong may represent the earliest days of low-memory, low-definition gaming, but it was one of the earliest games to capture the imaginations of players who would end up inspiring a whole new genre of entertainment.
Although home computers took a while to catch on, even during the period when they were prohibitively expensive, the gaming culture continued to grow. Arcades sprang up, allowing players to test out new games, master some of the most popular games of the day, and play with friends.
As gaming became more mainstream and the games available began to cater to the broader tastes of a number of different demographics, gaming became one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world. Some of the games that have helped to shape today’s gaming industry include:
As one of the first games to have a major impact on mainstream culture outside video gaming, Pacman has some of the most instantly recognisable characters of any computer game. You may not know that the ghosts are called Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde, but anyone who has ever touched a joystick will probably have played Pacman in one version or another.
The original idea belonged to games designer Toru Iwatani, who was just twenty-four when he came up with the idea, and he was inspired by the sight of a pizza with a slice removed. Considering that mainstream gaming largely focussed on shooting and sports games, Pacman was already groundbreaking in terms of its subject matter, but the simple theme of ‘eating’ tapped into a universality that won the hearts of players worldwide.
Pacman’s power pills were also groundbreaking as the first example of a ‘power-up’ in any video game, and the designer claimed to have been inspired by Popeye’s famous reaction to eating spinach when creating the idea. After its initial release in 1980, Pacman was the first computer game character to be licensed and used in merchandising, and its ongoing popularity worldwide is a testament to the success of that concept.
As one of the most popular card games in the world, poker has been played in one form or another for hundreds of years. The simplicity of the game’s principles and the complexity of the actual play make poker a perennial favourite among casino fans and card players worldwide.
These same qualities made it a perfect choice for early digitisation as the game’s basis in simple statistics made it ideal for translation into computer code where a deck of cards can be simulated relatively easily. Video poker was introduced to casinos when video games were still in their infancy.
There are a lot of online casinos available on the internet that have kept pace with technology to become a popular choice amongst players as they offer as variety of traditional casino games such as poker in digital form. Players have high expectations of the games they play, and developers meet these by incorporating the most cutting-edge technology into their games.
Poker fans can now play in games where artificial intelligence is used to identify betting patterns to allow the computer to play more like a human. Many players also use AI programmes to help them analyse the likely outcome of a game, bringing a whole new element to the game as we know it.
It is rare to see a group of under-twenties that doesn’t feature at least one person wearing an item of Minecraft merchandise, and this is probably a reflection of the fact that Mojang created one of the most popular video games of all time. The versatility of the game is one of the main things that makes it so appealing as players can choose to build and create, battle and conquer, or just learn and explore.
One of the most groundbreaking things about Minecraft was the fact that players were not just allowed, but positively encouraged to modify the game, adding their own personalised items to their digital world. This resulted in a huge number of fans creating wild and wonderful creatures, characters, and combatants, allowing their imaginations to roam free in the digital space.
The fact that Minecraft has maintained its popularity among gamers for nearly fifteen years shows just how much people love the ability to bring their own ideas to a game, and the thriving marketplace for mods, skins, and other in-game items is one of the most impressive things about Minecraft’s reach.
With copies sold all over the world, including in Vatican City and Antarctica, Minecraft’s continued growth reflects the universal appeal of a world where you can control everything from the terrain to the weather.
There are many great gaming titles available online suitable for every player, the above were just some of our top picks!