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History of Video Games

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Essay title: History of Video Games

Some problems are solved over a cup of coffee and some go on for decades without any sign of resolution. The reason may be that a solution can not be found or possibly that too many solutions are established. The ongoing argument of whether video games are good or bad for society is a clear example. Opponents believe they are a bad contribution to society while proponents believe they are a necessary and supportive addition to society.

“William Higinbotham, who in 1958 created a game called Tennis for Two…” (The Beginning), is the one credited for the invention of the video game. At this stage in time, this new innovation did not spark much interest with the public. “Computer and video games themselves did not become part of the popular culture until the late 1970’s” (The Beginning). Death Race, which came out in 1976, “…became one of the first controversial video games” (Controversy) to come out to the public. The purpose of the game was to run down gremlins while driving a vehicle. This type of entertainment was new and “uncomfortable”; it displayed awkward situations and was too violent for a lot of the critics. At this point it was obvious that there were two very differing outlooks on the latest technology to strike the market. But since most of the critics were against it and very few for it, including the creators and gamers, more complaints were made and the “violent” game of Death Race was eventually removed from the market. This was definitely not the end of gaming but it also was not the end criticism. The gaming industry obeyed the critic’s requests and opened into 80’s with “less representational, more kid-friendly games, such as Pac-Man and Donkey-Kong” (Controversy). As video games became more and more popular with the public, there began to be a more equal distribution of gamers and anti-gamers. Critics against gaming could not manipulate the industries new innovations without a good argument in return. Both representatives grew side by side with the industry. Today the argument still continues of whether video games are a good method for learning or just a waste of time and a bad influence on society.

This controversy basically started from retaliation of the opponent’s side. A new form of entertainment came out which was too violent for most of the audience. The critics, who were made up of mostly everyone at the time, were against this technology and made it that they be heard. Today this group has been narrowed down to about half the size it was but is still going strong. “Psychologists, researchers…” (Anderson) and concerned parents and adults are the main crowd opposed to video gaming. The main argument that was established since the “battle” began is the abundance of violence that takes place in the games. A research study published in 2000 “demonstrates that playing violent video games can increase a person's aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behavior”

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