Friday, May 3, 2024


 I saw a post online about an old MS Dos game, and I thought I'd go ahead and give my perspective of the growth of games from when I was young to now.

When I was growing up, we didn't have a computer.. no one did, except maybe scientists or NASA or some universities.  Then, they started coming out, but they were very expensive.  I remember that I bought a desktop that was very slow, and 2 megabytes of Ram would cost you a hundred dollars and you connected by a very loud and very slow modem that you connected by calling a number... preferably local to avoid long distance charges.  But... that's computers.  I'm getting ahead of myself... will come back to that.

Games were different when I was growing up.  Most were not on an electronic device.  You can the Rubic's Cube, Rubic's Snake, etch a sketch, and so on.  There were electronic ones, of course... but they were not on a computer.  There was a red one that looked almost like a phone, and you had to repeat patterns or try to black out all the dots or such.  We had games on our watches like race car ones where you  moved a dot back and forth and pretended it was a car and so on.  That was ADVANCED for us, back then.

There were things you could connect to your tv to play things like PONG.. basically ping pong back and forth and such.  Then, came Atari.  You got a stick controller and could play very basic graphical games.  This would be replaced by Nintendo or Commodore controller games.  The graphics were very basic, but you could spend hours playing those games.

Then, you got computers.. back to where I was, before.  The computers came with games, but most were DOS based and not in Windows.  Even when there was windows, you would open a DOS box to play the games.  As I mentioned... it could get expensive and slow transferring to play them by internet, so most were bought and played on the computer, itself.  You could download them, but.. again.. took a while to download.

At universities and colleges, you could connect to other universities and government installations via Telnet and such.  This allowed for multi player worlds, but it wasn't graphical but text based.  It would tell you your environment, and you would type commands, such as pray to the goddess for a sword and so on.  At universities, you could also chat with others via IRC... inter relay chat... but that would become taboo and banned, as you could find x rated groups and pics on there and more.  Usenet would replace it, but likewise there was very little moderation and chats got very toxic.

Slowly, graphics increased in the DOS games, and you got to an age of side scrolling shooters, which let you play games like the old Double Dragon and Pitfall that we used to play on Nintendo.  I recall one was called Vinyl Goddess From Mars, and it had a very little pixelated woman in a sexy corset... as growing boy and young adult, you had to know I would know all about that one.  Ha.

Then, came the earliest versions of gaming consoles.  You could rent one at the video store, just like a video, with a deposit.  The games were higher versions of graphics than before, and you could build up worlds to play, but they were small characters and much less graphics than now.  But, I remember spending DAYS playing things like Warcraft, Starcraft, Command and Conquer, and flying games.  As the graphics increased, more complex games were possible.  I remember working night shift in the military at a duty station, and we played DOA for hours through the night.

Now, of course, game systems and graphics are beyond anything like back then.  The prices also went up, and I haven't been able to afford one for a long time with life changes and budget challenges.  I think that may change this summer.  I bought games for my children, though... WII, Switch, etc.  I do play some on my computer, some times.  I have a Minecraft game bought, but I don't want to hog the extended stay internet.  I play games on my phone, sometimes.  But, I look forward to exploring what all is out there in the future, as I am able.  Why not?  The tv series based on games have very complex plots, so it might be very worth it to try.

No comments:

Post a Comment