The History Of Gaming (Part II)

Web3 Gaming

Video games evolved, in large part, alongside computing technology as mentioned in our previous blog. 

In the 1970s, you’d be hard pressed to find a kid who didn’t spend their weekends playing an arcade game, in the 1990s everyone became Pokemon masters, and these days we can carry around hundreds of games in our back pocket. 

As The Graph Helps to Illustrate…

As the graphic above helps to illustrate, it’s important to break down shifting growth within the market. Research shows that while the tidal wave of gaming has only continued to swell, the driving factors have shifted over the course of gaming history.

We’re already far past the point of gaming being the biggest earning media sector, with an estimated $165 billion revenue generated in 2020.

Atari and Arcade Gaming

When Sega and Taito debuted the electromechanical games Periscope and Crown Special Soccer in 1966 and 1967, they were the first companies to attract the public's interest in arcade gaming. The first gaming company to truly establish the standard for a large-scale gaming community was Atari, which was founded by Nolan Bushnell, known as the "godfather of gaming," in 1972

Warner Communications bought Atari in 1976. The company quickly rolled out other arcade games. In 1977, it introduced the Atari Video Computer System (VCS) and sold millions of game cartridges over 15 years. Furthermore, Atari began to sell the first real electronic video game Pong, and arcade machines began emerging in bars, bowling alleys and shopping malls around the world. 

By the end of the 1970s, a number of chain restaurants around the U.S. started to install video games to capitalize on the hot new craze. Due to the nature of the games, players were eager to claim the top spot on the leaderboard. Moreover, players could record their high scores with their initials. Players could only compete against each other on the same screen at this time in multiplayer gaming.

The first example of players competing on separate screens came in 1973 with “Empire” — a strategic turn-based game for up to eight players which was created for the PLATO network system. Plato was one of the first generalized computer-based teaching systems. PLATO represents one of the first steps on the technological road to the Internet, and online multiplayer gaming as we know it today. However, the younger generations were already big gamers at this stage, and playing video games in arcades for high scores was a shared pastime.

Home Gaming

Technological advancements, such as Intel’s invention of the world’s first microprocessor, led to the creation of games such as Gunfight in 1975, the first example of a multiplayer human-to-human combat shooter. GunFight, known as Western Gun in Japan and Europe, is a 1975 arcade shooter game designed by Tomohiro Nishikado, and released by Taito in Japan and Europe and by Midway in North America. It came with a new style of gameplay, using one joystick to control movement and another for shooting direction — something that had never been seen before.

In 1977, Atari released the Atari VCS (later known as the Atari 2600). When it was released, the Atari VCS was only designed to play ten simple games, such as Pong, Outlaw and Tank. However, the console included an external ROM slot where game cartridges could be plugged in; the potential of this program was quickly discovered by programmers around the world, who created games far outperforming the console’s original design.

Home Computers

Home computers like the Commodore Vic-20, Commodore 64, and Apple II started to gain popularity at the same time as consoles began to receive bad press. With a suggested retail price of $300 in the early 1980s (about $860 now), these new home computers were within the reach of the typical American and promoted as the "reasonable" choice for the entire family.

These home computers had much more powerful processors than the previous generation of consoles; this opened the door to a new level of gaming, with more complex, less linear games. Even Bill Gates designed a game, called Donkey. While the game was described at the time as “crude and embarrassing” by rivals at Apple, Gates included the game to inspire users to develop their own games and programs using the integrated BASIC code program.

Early computers such as the Macintosh, and some consoles such as the Atari ST, allowed users to connect their devices with other players as early as the late 1980s. The 1040ST, released in 1986 with 1 MB of RAM, was the first home computer with a cost-per-kilobyte of less than US$1. The ST was sold with either Atari's color monitor or less expensive monochrome monitor. 

Multiplayer Gaming Over Networks

Multiplayer gaming over networks really took off with the release of Pathways into Darkness in 1993, and the “LAN Party” was born. Pathways into Darkness is a first-person shooter adventure video game developed and published by Bungie in 1993, for Apple Macintosh personal computers. Its tagline was "This is the closest you'll get to virtual reality without a helmet!" 

In contrast, LAN gaming grew more popular with the release of Marathon on the Macintosh in 1994. Marathon is a first-person shooter video game developed and published by Bungie, and released in December 1994 for the Apple Macintosh. The game takes place several centuries into the future in outer space and sets the player as a security officer attempting to stop an alien invasion aboard a colony ship named the Marathon.

Disclaimer: All information provided in the content is for informational purposes only and should not be perceived as investment, financial, or trading advice. Any investment decisions you make should be based on your personal preferences, financial expertise, and market research.


Parea Labs is a Web3 Gaming company that is driven by visionary ideas to provide various blockchain solutions and the excitement to build a user-focused, adaptive, and innovative gaming experience for all.

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