Friday, 27 December 2013

The 12 Generations of Gaming - Gen 2

On the second gen of gaming,
Atari sent to me
A game which didn't start with P.

On the second gen of gaming,
The world sent to me,
The video game crash of 82 and 3.

On the second gen of gaming,
Nintendo sent to me,
the handheld industry.

The Second Generation – 1977 - 83

Atari 2600

Popular Games:

Space Invaders
Mario Bros.
Donkey Kong

And so, the first generation came to an end but with its death it brought rise to a new generation of gaming, which brought another, and another, and another... well you get the picture. It introduced things such as the microprocessor as well as 2 to eight colour graphics! It's so colourful! Second gen also brought about many companies and games that would define and change the video game industry forever. 

Rather than talk about the consoles that were in this generation like I did with my last post I've decided to write about the games as it was them that really defined the 2nd generation. Ever heard of Space Invaders? What about Pac-Man? Mario? Donkey Kong? Of course you have. At least I hope you have. If not, you definitely need to read the next few paragraphs.


Please check out the Video Game Character of The Month for this priceless information.

Space Invaders:
Originally created in June 1978 by Tomohiro Nishikado of the Taito Corporation in Japan. It is widely considered to be the first successful shooter game as well as being a massive contributor to the video game industry. It also helped to make video games popular world-wide. Not too bad for a pixelated alien. The gameplay is very simple and just consists of you, a spaceship with a laser, shooting wave upon wave of Space Invaders until you either wipe them out (for them to reappear very soon) or you die (much more likely). One of the most popular aspect of the game is the music as well as the pure addiction level. The humble Space Invader has become a byword/drawing for the video game industry as a whole. Good for you, Space Invaders!

Mario Bros.:
As I have already done a Video Game Character of The Month post on Mario I won't go into too much detail about his character (which you should already know about, anyway). Back to the topic for now, though, Mario Bros. was created by Shigeru Miyamoto (another name, you should all recognise, by the way) in 1983 (a year that started out very badly for video games, as I will touch on later) for arcade machines and later the NES (again, more on that on another post). It primarily focuses on Mario and Luigi trying to clear out the sewers of New York (well they are plumbers) which they do with the usual methods of kicking and jumping along with the occasional butt stomp (pesticides are so overrated). It was received positively and led the way for many more amazing games to come.

Donkey Kong:
Donkey Kong was another breakthrough game developed by the master that is Miyamoto. Created on July 9, 1981 for arcades Donkey Kong and so another legend was born. In the game, you play as Jumpman (again, read the VGCOTM) as he tries to rescue his love Pauline (poor Peach) from the giant ape. He does this by climbing ladders, jumping barrels and... falling to his inevitable death. Miyamoto developed it alongside Nintendo's chief engineer Gunpei Yokoi as an effort by the Nintendo Presidant (Hiroshi Yamauchi) to break into the North American market and while some of Nintendo's employees didn't like it the rest of the world did and it was very successful. And it spawned not one but two gaming franchises of legend.

The final game in this post is a game that has been immortalized in countless cameos remakes and even a Google mini game. The game was created by none other than Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs and conceptualised by Nolan Bushnell and Steve Bristow (so many Steves!) in April 1976. Inspired by one of Atari's other greatest games, Pong, this game yet again used giant blocky pixels as graphics. The idea of the game is to hit a ball into a bunch of blocks that covered most of the screen with another blocky paddle until they are all gone and so repeat the process with the next level or you die. The game has inspired all sorts of media from movies to more games and even the Apple II personal computer.      

Goodbye for now, Harry 

And the blog's collective knowledge

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