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The Dengler Domain: Video Games

March 4, 2016
Sean Dengler - Columnist , Dysart Reporter

Whether it be pepper or Monopoly, humans created games to pass time. Due to the increase in technology, games have advanced in their capabilities. First, card games existed. Then came along computer games, and finally, video games. Video games are a recently discovered but important part of human history. Over its short time, video games have resulted in worldwide tournaments, gathering the world's best players. The cult of video games only grows bigger with each family member passing down knowledge. While I was born in the boom of video games, I missed the early era of video games. This makes me sad because this era was finding its footing in society. Luckily, I have investigated retro games I would love to play.

Pong was released in 1972, and it was a revolution in the video game industry. It was one of the first games to reach mainstream popularity. The simplicity of this game is beautiful compared today's video games. The simple hit the ball with the paddle theme is the Model T to today's Ford F-450s video games. Playing this game at its arrival in the mainstream would have been special. Video game were not prevalent before this time so the gameplay would be unique. Playing this game meant a person was at the birthing of the video game industry. Without Pong's popularity, video games would not be as popular as they are today.

Space Invaders was released in 1978, and this game defines the arcade game era. It was a shoot and destroy game, where the player moved horizontally across the screen to shoot descending aliens. This game required skill to outflank the aliens as the game progressed, and the aliens became smarter and quicker. The graphics are simple, but the difference from Pong would be revolutionary. Space Invaders' presence in today's video game culture is strong resulting in a well-aged game.

BurgerTime was released in 1982, and I have never heard of this game. The concept is peculiar, and a chef, Peter Pepper, has to complete a number of hamburgers and avoid eating enemy foods. This plot is amazing. Playing this game would be fun. I have always wanted to be a chef, but I do not have the time to train to be one. This game allows me to make delicious hamburgers while avoiding the enemies of this game, Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Pickle, and Mr. Egg. I also collect bonus foods such as coffee, ice cream cones, or French fries to increase my chances to fight off my enemies. The only anger this game would arouse in today's world is not the bad graphics, but how unhealthy food is beneficial to beating the game.

These three games represented different facets of early video game history. All three games would be fun to play in today's society. These games were the pioneers of the video games. They set out for an unknown place and established a new frontier. Video game franchises like Mario, Call of Duty, and Grand Theft Auto succeed because of these pioneers. Games like BurgetTime took weird risks to stretch the creativity and uniqueness of video games. As with most of the past, early video games may not have looked pretty, but we would not be where we are today without them.

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