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Added Apr 01, 2013 at 08:38PM EDT by Random21.

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A video game is an electronic computing hardware utilizing an audio-visual graphical user interface, which requires a player’s interaction in order to advance. Gaming is the subculture that centers itself around the production and consumption of video games.


Early games used interactive electronic devices with various display formats. The earliest example is from 1947--a “Cathode ray tube Amusement Device” was filed for a patent on 25 January 1947, by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann, and issued on 14 December 1948, as U.S. Patent 2455992.[1]

Most of the early computer games ran on mainframe computers and were developed as a hobby. The limited accessibility meant that these games were small in number and forgotten. the video game grew in popularity around the 1970s, with the creation of the arcade system. Many early arcade games, such as Space Invaders[2], Pong[3] and Gun Fight[4]. The popularity grew with the creation of the first games consoles, such as the Magnavox Odyssey[5].

Due to the popularity of these early video games, consoles such as the Atari 2600[6], Nintendo Entertainment System[7] and Sega Genesis[8] were created, among many others. In recent years, game consoles have become more advanced, and have grown to the point of becoming a pillar of home entertainment. The three current competing consoles are the Xbox 360[9], PlayStation 3[10] and Nintendo Wii U[11].


Gaming spread as a subculture over time with the rise of competitive gaming, with tournaments becoming prominent as early as the 1981 with the Space Invaders Championship[12]. Gaming subcultures have since spread by means of online play and e-sports.

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Notable Companies/Franchises


Nintendo is the oldest company to produce video games, having existed as an entertainment company since the late 1880s (though their first games were not produced until the 1970s). Nintendo is best known for having some of the most recognizable and long-running intellectual properties in the industry, including the following:

  • Super Mario Brothers, a platforming series centered around two Italian plumbers named Mario and Luigi and their journeys to rescue Princess Peach from King Bowser.
  • Metroid, an action series about a bounty hunter named Samus and the various missions she goes on to destroy the space pirates and kill the titular creatures.
  • The Legend Of Zelda, an adventure series revolving around several incarnations of Link, the player character, and his quests to restore tranquility to Hyrule.
  • EarthBound/Mother, a comedic role-playing series taking place in modern society about various groups of friends that fight off alien invasions.
  • Fire Emblem, a tactical role-playing game series about conflicts in medieval societies across various worlds.
  • Kirby, an action-platformer series where the titular character consumes enemies and gains their powers.
  • Star Fox, a series of aerial combat games displaying the expeditions and missions of the titular ship and its crew.
  • Pokémon, a role-playing game series that allows players to catch and use monsters in order to become the best trainer in the world.
  • Super Smash Brothers, a crossover fighting series featuring characters across Nintendo’s various franchises.
  • Animal Crossing, a life-simulation game that allows the player to interact with a variety of characters in a world that transpires in real time.

Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts is an American developer, marketer, publisher and distributor of video games. Electronic Arts was often criticized for their business practices. [Work In Progress]


Microsoft Studios is the name of Microsoft’s sub-company dedicated to producing video games. Microsoft originally tried to break into the gaming market with their MSX, but the console had limited success due to the 1983 Video Game Crash and the rising popularity of the NES. Microsoft achieved greater success with the PC, and eventually moved on to producing a series of home consoles with a system known as the XBOX. [Work In Progress]


Sony Computer Entertainment entered the business in the mid-1990s. [Work In Progress]


Valve Corporation (formerly Valve Software) is an independent company founded by former Microsoft employee Gabe Newell. Valve became famous for its critically acclaimed Half-Life and Portal sub-series. Valve is also well known for its software distribution platform Steam, and the Source engine. [Work In Progress]


Video Game Myths

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Video Game Logic

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Let’s Play

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Search Analytics

External References

[1]Google Patents – Cathode-ray tube amusement device

[2]Wikipedia – Space Invaders

[3]Wikipedia – Pong

[4]Wikipedia – Gun Fight

[5]Wikipedia – Magnavox Odyssey

[6]Wikipedia – Atari 2600

[7]Wikipedia – NES

[8]Wikipedia – Sega Genesis

[9]Wikipedia – Xbox 360

[10]Wikipedia – PlayStation 3

[11]Wikipedia – Nintendo Wii U

[12] – Electronic Games Magazine, Voulme 1, Issue 2

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