Today the market offers such technology to make games so well made that it is often very difficult to distinguish fiction from reality itself. But have you wondered how all this came about? What were the first games and how were they structured?
An interesting video documentary has been released on Netflix in which the evolution of video games is told and how their creators had the idea of creating their masterpieces.
It was back in 1978 when Toshihiro Nishikado created Spacer Invaders, an arcade game in which the player must take down the aliens that slowly approach towards the bottom of the screen, where a mobile cannon is located, guided by the player himself. Each downed enemy assigns a score with the possibility of getting bonuses if you hit alien spaceships that appear occasionally during the game.
The graphics may seem terrible, at the time the games were made in 32 bit and the effect is a set of colored pixels that create square shapes. At the end of 78 this game achieved unprecedented worldwide success, sold for Atari 2600 console. The games were contained in large bulky cartridges that were inserted into the console.
The success of Space Invaders gave birth to something never seen before: national tournaments. Players from different regions around the world gathered and challenged to reach the HIGH SCORE or HIGH SCORE.
A curiosity revealed by the creator of Space Invaders himself, Nishikado, concerns the choice of the octopus-shaped aliens. In Japan at the time the novel The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells was well known, from which the film in 2005 with Tom Cruise was also made, in which the alien invaders are huge octopuses that capture humans.
Another game, symbol of the birth of videogames, was Pacman, created and launched in 1989 by its creator Tōru Iwatani. The idea of the game was born in a truly unique and fun way, during a dinner with friends, observing the scene of a pizza to which a slice is removed.
As the creator himself admits, the game was created to encourage girls to approach the world of videogames, until then considered an exclusive kingdom of boys. And it was immediately a great love for the female people.
The game is very simple: Pacman, a round and yellow being, must eat all the dots located in the maze but must also avoid the 4 colored ghosts otherwise the player loses a life. The greater the number of dots eaten, the higher the score the player achieves.
The graphics are really very minimalist but you start to notice an improvement, at least in the colors used and in the details. The game is made up of many identical levels, in total there are 500. A level is complete when Pacman has eaten all the dots.
Pacman and Space Invaders have had truly incredible global success, certainly more than the creators themselves imagined. Videogames have contributed to the birth of thousands of arcades full of cabinets and of kids who spent money to complete the games. I was lucky enough to frequent these beautiful environments in the early 90s and I really have many good memories of that time.
For those who were not yet born... You missed something truly unique.
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