Over the past decade, and as if wasn’t already big enough, gaming has grown absolutely massive. The popularity of video gaming has skyrocketed, and its value is projected to shoot past the $200 billion mark in 2023.
Another big contributor to the surge in popularity of gaming has been the arrival of mobile gaming. In 2019, this style of gaming hit a value of nearly $10 billion in the US, and by 2025, it’s expected to have reached more than $11.35 billion.
Below is a look at some of the biggest moments to have made an impact in the history of gaming.
The Brown Box
Although not very elegant sounding, the “Brown Box” is more or less where it all began, which it did so in 1967, and was the start of commercial gaming. This was merely a vacuum tube circuit that players could connect to the TV and would control two cubes that chased each on the screen. The device could be programmed to play four sports games, including the classic ping pong.
The arrival of Atari and arcade gaming
Even though Sega and Taito had sparked the public’s curiosity in game in the late 1960s, it was Atari who really set it on fire and established the benchmark for a large-scale gaming community.
Atari began to create games in-house and developed an “arcade industry”. In 1973, the company began selling the first ping pong game, and arcade machines started to spring up in bars, shopping malls and bowling alleys around the world.
The beginnings of multiplayer gaming
Today, multiplayer gaming is much more advanced, but this style of gaming developed its roots in the 1970s. Competition between players, who could record their scores all on the same screen, triggered the development of games in which they could compete on separate screens. The first game of this type was called “Empire”, and eight players could take part in the game.
Atari pushes home gaming even further
Technology was moving forward all the time, with companies developing microprocessors that led to the creation of games such as “Gunfight,” which saw the introduction of joysticks.
Atari then made a push with the VCS, but sales were slow. The presence of an external ROM slot into which cartridges were inserted hadn’t gone unnoticed, however, and programmers seized on this and developed high-performing games. The incorporation of a microprocessor led to one of the biggest games on the planet: Space Invaders. Gaming was about to get seriously serious!
Expansion of the gaming community through PC gaming
During these later years, computers had been developing and had become popular. As Space Invaders enjoyed unbridled excess and the gaming market became more saturated, Commodore computers quietly slipped in and filled the void in interest that had opened up in gaming.
The computers featured powerful processors and created a new level of gaming, making games less linear. Computer owners even had the tools to build their own games, using BASIC code.
Console makers SEGA and Nintendo weren’t going to stand for that and started to wage war against PCs, and on each other, by releasing new consoles in the 1980s and 1990s. The two companies were carving up the console market between them, but two tech titans would enter the market and disrupt their cozy little arrangement with consoles of their own: Microsoft, with the Xbox, and Sony, with the PlayStation.
The internet and online casino gaming
The internet, the greatest invention ever, came about in the 1990s and unlocked a whole new treasure chest of possibilities for gaming.
One such opportunity was the creation of online casino gaming, and companies grabbed it with both hands. By the end of 1997, there were around 200 companies running online casinos, poker sites and sports betting. Today, there are many more, of course.
The internet made casino gaming more accessible. People who couldn’t get to casinos, or who possibly couldn’t afford to play in one, suddenly had the choice of playing online casino games in the comfort of their home. Online casino operators had made casino gaming safe, possible and affordable.
The internet and online gaming
The arrival of the World Wide Web helped to make multiplayer gaming more sophisticated and, generally, to change the way players interact with each other.
Online storefronts such as Xbox Live Marketplace have transformed gaming and made multiplayer gaming a major part of the experience. Gaming has become more of a shared experience. For instance, the existence of online first-person shooter games has inspired the formation of gaming “clans”, groups of players who get together regularly to play games online.
The emergence of mobile gaming
One of the greatest landmark moments in the gaming world has been the emergence of mobile gaming. Some companies are even starting to produce mobile versions of their hit games so that players who don’t wish to sit at a console don’t have to.
Mobile gaming isn’t purely the domain of console gaming heavyweights, however. The industry has witnessed the creation of simple but highly engaging games people can play on their mobiles on a less committed level than that of gaming enthusiasts. Casual gaming, as it’s known, is good news for the gaming world because it can ignite a passion in fans of this type of gaming for gaming in general and encourage them to invest in console gaming.
Gaming has entered perhaps its most thrilling and most popular phase yet. All the while, tech companies are working on innovations that can enhance gaming even further and give players the very best experience. The gaming world can expect to see more landmark moments in the future.