We live in an era where access to technology is unprecedented and we have the entire world in the palm of our hands. The same applies to the concept of video gaming. Gone are the days where you would have to head to an arcade or to a cyber café just to get an hour’s worth of enjoyment, with not a large variety of games to choose from. Now, not only can you play millions of high quality games from your phone, gaming consoles have evolved to become more portable, and are an integral part of everyday living for most of the world. The question then has to be asked, how did we get here? In this article, we’ll answer that very query and examine some major developments that made gaming so ubiquitous.
Origins and Major Developments
In the ‘80s and ‘90s, most video games were played on classic consoles such as the Atari, Super Nintendo, and at gaming arcades. Though that era provides us with some iconic titles and days that remain relevant to this day, the truth is that those gaming machines were underpowered, and not as accessible as consoles are today. As the internet and personal computers began to creep into everyday life, gaming became a lot more common. People could now head to internet cafes to play online, and buy CDs of their favourite games that were playable on their computer. Still, there were a wide variety of issues that made virtual gaming hard. First, internet speeds were really slow back then, and computers had low storage capacities. Then, the chances of getting viruses on your computer were also high, as there was no real way of telling apart trustworthy and untrustworthy websites.
The advent of the Flash Player completely changed the shape of online computer gaming. Not only did Flash make creating and designing games easier, it spawned a new era of gaming sites easily accessible by the masses; ones that had hundreds of games for everybody. HTML games came next, and so did light engines such as Unity that allowed for convenient game play and creation.
Thanks to the powerful processors that affordable mobile phones and computers have these days, gaming is available to a wider demographic than it has ever been. People can enjoy a large variety of games, ranging from first person shooters, to simple card games on their fingertips. A lot of this is due to the touchscreen revolution and widening internet access that came in the 2010’s, but advancements in processors and computer hardware have also played a significant role. Consoles like the Xbox Series X, the PS5 and the Nintendo Switch are products of this progression.
This phenomenon has penetrated all genres of the gaming industry, including the online casino one. These days, many providers are marketing themselves as “instant casinos”, allowing players to gamble directly from their browsers without needing any extra software.
In the 2020’s, we can expect to see VR and AR technology make its way into the gaming industry, making games more interactive, engrossing and realistic. What’s for sure is that the gaming industry has come leaps and bounds over the past four decades, and the way the world plays has drastically changed.