History of Popular Video Game Systems

By | October 4, 2018

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Magnavox Odyssey

What’s all the buzz about video games? Why is it such a billion dollar industry? Video games have become a part of our culture. This has become a form of entertainment that has evolved into an addiction for some, not only for children but for adults as well.

Video games date back as early as the 1950s with the very first games being played on huge computers. The idea of a home video game was introduced by Ralph H. Baer. Then in the 1960s, designs came out for video game consoles by Sanders Associates, who Ralph Baer was working for. One of the designs they came up with was called the “Brown Box” which lead to an agreement between Sanders Associates and Magnavox. By 1972, Magnavox released the first home video game console called the Magnavox Odyssey that could be connected to the TV. There were a total of 28 games that were released for this system that included “Table Tennis,” “Shooting Gallery,” “Football” and “Hockey.”

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Most of us remember the old "Atari" games.  Founded in 1972, Atari was pioneered by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. The original Atari company operated from 1972 through 1984, but then the company split, with the arcade division turning into Atari Games Inc. With its most popular system, the Atari 2600, 565 games were produced including “Blackjack,” “Combat,” “Indy 500,” “Street Racer,” and “Basic Math.” In 1989, the last game released for this system was “Secret Quest” in North America and the last games released in Europe in 1990 and 1992 were “Klax” and “Acid Drop.”  Some video games were created for and still are for educational benefits, which is quite helpful when trying to teach children in a fun way.