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From Atari to Wii – The Boom in Gaming

From Atari to Wii – The Boom in Gaming

The growth in gaming has been exponential, and with new developments in gaming, the growth will continue to soar. This makes gaming more than a lot of fun; it makes it a perfect industry in which to pursue a career. Many colleges, like Westwood College Online, even offer online degrees in game art as a great way to jump start a career in this ever-changing field. Understanding the gaming industry today means going back to when the first video game was pioneered.
In 1952, a man named A.S. Douglas decided to experiment with a new invention called a “computer,” an incredibly advanced concept in the 1950s. Unintentionally, he created the first video game, called Noughts and Crosses. It ran on a huge computer called the E.D.S.A.C., and although no one actually played it, it paved the way for a little known programmer named Nolan Bushnell. Nolan Bushnell went on to start Atari. Bushnell himself is responsible for today’s huge video game industry, making billions of dollars every year. This is the long-wound history of today’s booming video game industry.

The Start of Atari

In 1972, a little known programmer named Nolan Bushnell left his work as a programmer for Nutting Associates, a pre-Atari video game system that he thought was not functional. Finding the Odyssey uninteresting, Bushnell left the company and started his own company. Bushnell first settled on the name Syzygy. Unfortunately for Bushnell, that name was already taken by a roofing company, so he named it Atari.

After Atari became the official name, Bushnell hired Al Alcorn to program games for Atari. Alcorn was inexperienced, so Bushnell assigned him to program a simple tennis game. This game was named Pong. After its release, Atari became a household name.

Nintendo Steps In

In 1981, a new video game company called Nintendo released a new video gamed called Donkey Kong, after having previous failures with mediocre arcade games. Shigeru Miyamoto designed Donkey Kong, a big brown ape. He needed to create a protagonist, so he created an overall-wearing plumber called Mario, named after the company’s landowner, Mario Segali. Donkey Kong explodes into arcades and everyone demands more of this limber plumber. They get their wish.

Nintendo’s Golden Age

In 1986, after testing it out with test audiences, Nintendo released a 2-D platform called the Nintendo Entertainment System. They also released Super Mario Brothers, a game based off the jumping plumber in Donkey Kong. Nintendo’s popularity skyrocketed; the NES is a huge hit. From 1986 to 1992, Nintendo released more games and two new systems: the Game Boy and the 16-bit Super Nintendo. Their popularity wasn’t challenged until 1992, when Sega released their own entertainment system, the Sega Genesis. Nintendo and Sega continued to battle it out until 1996, when Nintendo released the 3-D platform N64. This started a new battle — but not between Nintendo and Sega.

Nintendo Versus Sony

After Nintendo released the N64 in 1996, Nintendo faced a new rival — the Sony Playstation. The Sony PlayStation had one advantage over Nintendo, and that was the Final Fantasy series. The first Final Fantasy released was Final Fantasy 7, which is still hugely popular today. Nintendo battled Sony by continuing their Super Mario Brothers line, releasing Super Mario 64, Super Smash Brothers, and a different game called Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. By this time, video game programming became an actual major in some colleges. Nintendo and Sony continued to battle it out until 2007.

Wii Versus PS3

In 2007, Nintendo and Sony both agreed they need to revamp the video gaming industry. Sony responded by releasing the PlayStation 3, which acted as a video game console and a DVD player. Nintendo took a more innovative approach, releasing the Wii. Wii wasn’t like anything else on the market because it featured sensor technology, something found in their original NES. Nintendo replaced controllers with remotes, a controversial move that paid off. The Wii is the most popular console on the market right now, and so is the unlimited potential in this video gaming industry.

Gamers, what you should know: The exponential growth in the gaming industry will continue to skyrocket, as the popularity of gaming has become imbedded in our culture and lifestyle. With gaming companies consistently seeking out new talent, whether in design or programming, there is a high demand for skilled, talented individuals in the gaming industry. Learn about some of the opportunities for earning a game art or even a game design degree online – it may just be perfect for you. Gaming is one of the few industries that easily meld entertainment passion and a lucrative, in-demand career.