Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Media

Although gaming isn't necessarily "new" media, it is relatively new within the past 50 or so years and continues to lend itself to newer and more advanced technologies. I took this opportunity to delve into the vast subject and educate myself. This is what i found...

A video game is a game that involves the interactivity of the player(s) through a user interface generating visual feedback on a video device. Some fun facts: Half of all Americans between 12-55 play video games, video games have been known to help children with following directions, problem solving and logic, learning computer technology, practicing fine motor and spatial skills.
First and foremost- the platform: electronic hardware in conjunction with software allowing the game to operate. Examples are: PC game is where player interacts with personal computer hooked up to a video monitor, console game is a specialized device that connects to a TV or video monitor, arcade game is designed in special cabinet enclosure for specific one game, and hand held game is self contained device that is portable. Although we cannot forget online and wireless games too!
Input devices is the controller and this ranges depending on the platform of the game.

History and Development:
The world’s first video game was invented in 1958 with “Tennis for Two” by William Higinbotham on an oscilloscope. The first commercially sold, coin operated video arcade game was “Computer Space” in 1971 by creator Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. First home console was Magnavox Odyssey in 1972 used a standard television and game generated video signal. Next came ATARI with “Pong” in 1972 with an arcade version and a home version in 1975.Of course as the years went on newer editions of both Atari’s Pong and the Magnavox Odyssey appeared.
Released in 1976, Wonder Wizard 7702 was built using the Magnavox Odyssey circuit board and casing, but with the “Wonder Wizard” name on the top. The same year the Coleco Telstar (Coleco’s first video game) appeared and was the first system to use GI's AY-3-8500 chip, which proved to be very successful. The chip allowed 6 games to be played with more levels of difficulty and in color. Over the years, Magnavox came out with the Odysseys 300, 400, 500, 2000, 3000, & 4000. The Fairchild Channel F came out as the first programmable video game on the market with plug in cartridges containing ROM and microprocessor code rather than dedicated circuits.

Modern day video games:
Through the 70’s and 80’s Atari, Magnavox, Coleco kept releasing newer and more advanced video game systems as technology gave way. Although in 1980 Mattell entered the gaming market with Intellivision system that offered 12 games with better graphics and sounds than other competitors. In 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System was released and gave way for one of the world’s most popular video games. The next year Sega entered the console gaming market with the released of Sega Master System, followed by Sega Genesis in 1989. Now the modern gaming market is heavily controlled by Nintendo,
Sony, and Microsoft.

Gaming hey day:
Consoles are the most popular video game medium and the leader in video game platform sales. Today the video game industry is in it’s hey day and by the looks of things, it will only continue to rise. Right now the most popular games are Nintendo’s Wii, Sony’s Playstation 3, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

What lies ahead:
Gaming Industry is considered above average growth sector of the global entertainment industry and will continue to out weigh music and film through 1011. $633 million spent on game rentals. $6 billion spend on gaming software. 4.5 times VHS & DVD sales combined. Today the gaming industry out weighs the record industry and film industry COMBINED
By 2011 the worldwide gaming market will be worth $48.9 billion. 12.5 billion in U.S. region. Asia-Pacific region remains highest overall spending on games and will reach 18.8 billion. Gaming growth rate is second highest in Africa, Middle East, & Europe. Composers for film are now turning to composing for games. This no doubtedly will become an increasing trend for musicians taping into this stream of income.

No comments: