In an age where many people are discovering video games through their children, or the younger generations are wanting to learn more about video game history, let’s take a back to basics look at the history video game industry. Video Games have come a long way since the original debut of Spacewar and Pong. The industry has grown rapidly since the release of the first commercial video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey. It is now an industry worth more than Hollywood and the music industry combined. Diving into a brief overview of gaming history, let’s discuss a handful of the titles that made this popular pastime what it is today.

The Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device
In 1947, before Pong became a thing, Estle Ray Mann and Thomas T. Goldsmith, filed a copyright for the Cathode-Ray Amusement Device, warranting them the status ‘first patent for an electronic game’. Despite the fact it never made it to the mainstream market because of production costs, this was a huge and notable step in gaming history. The device carved the creation of the first ever game, noughts and crosses, powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), shortly followed by William Higinbotham’s Tennis for Two, and in 1962, Spacewar, the concept that sparked video game commercialization. These video games and devices were the instigators of what is now a huge, evolving industry.

Old School Gaming
Atari has to be one of the most influential brands in the gaming world. Even those who seldom play will have heard of this gaming giant, which first came to light in 1972. Developers Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney created a company that served as the bedrock of the video game industry. A large amount of Atari’s success came down to the triumph of Pong, a name that has helped pave the way for the expansion of arcade games, inspiring other video platforms, consoles, PC games and even slots machines. In fact, arcade machines were one of the first devices to introduce wagers, and the retro themes, imagery and pixel art-based graphics have transpired in an array of slots games to this day. You can learn more about recommended casinos offering slots games on

Space Invaders
This influential Japanese title is seen as legendary in the gaming world. The game’s recognition led to the fabrication of an urban icon with so much status, Japan experienced a 100-yen coin shortage during its release. Space Invaders influenced a handful of gaming’s most renowned masterminds, including John Romero and Hideo Kojima. Without its introduction, the likes of Galaga, Raiden and DoDonPachi, as well as other titles from the shmup genre, might never have made it to our gaming screens. This retro classic is responsible for some of the top-level vertical shooters in video games today. And although it starts off slow by today’s standards, a game of Space Invaders can still get your heart beating, when the aliens speed up in the later stage and the bass speaker kicks in.

Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong has an important part to play in gaming history and in 2017 it was inducted into the National Museum of Play’s Video Game Hall of Fame. It is notable for being the first appearance of Mario (in the guise of Jumpman) and also was the star of the infamous ‘documentary’ The King of Kong where gamers such as Billy Mitchell vied to become the world record holder at Donkey Kong. Many people today still struggle to get off the first screen, so to watch experts at play is seriously impressive.

Shooting fans were all over this when it was first released in 1987. Contra is one of the preliminary shooting platforms to grace the gaming world and defined a variety of today’s contemporary titles. Set in 2.5D, viewers are able to experience the action from various perspectives. The game surrounds a total of seven pure platform, multi-player challenges, and was one of the first games to allow two player simultaneous gameplay and has left a strong legacy behind it.

Street Fighter 2
Another game that wasn’t totally the first of its kind but that left a massive legacy was Street Fighter 2. This hit arcades in 1991 and was an immediate hit. Home consoles had started to make arcade attendance dwindle, due to people having the ability to play near arcade quality games in their homes, but the sheer quality of SF2 brought people back to the arcade in droves. Until that is it was released on the SNES. The game has characters and sound effects that are iconic and even spawned a movie starring Jean Claude van Damme and Kylie Minogue.

Talking about influential games, Doom is possibly the most influential game of all time. Being itself an improvement on the previous game Wolfenstein 3D, Doom was a first person shooter that took the world buy storm. Not only was the game groundbreaking and amazing but you could play it over a local network, leading to university computer rooms all over the world being open until the wee hours of the morning while students would play deathmatches with each other. It is widely considered the grandaddy of all modern FPS games such as Call of Duty, Gears of War, Bioshock and many more. And there is an ongoing challenge by hackers and programmers all over the world to try to get Doom running on any screen and hardware possible, including calculators and ATM machines.

These are just five games out of literally thousands. One of the most impressive aspects of the video game industry is the sheer number of games that have been made since the 70s and that are all available to play today via eBay, re-released collections or emulators. Have fun beginning your journey.