Friday, May 16, 2008

Video Games - Popularity

When video games first came out more than twenty years ago, they were a big innovation because of the new way people could play games. Games could now be played on the television and not just on the table. Over the years, these video games have evolved and changed in order to keep the same popularity they had when they first came out.

When these games were first brought to the public, they were very simple and did not have much content. However, even though they were, by today’s standards, flawed, they were very popular because they were something that people had never seen before. And example of this type of game is Pong, which was one of the first games to come out, but was very popular at the time. This game was made to resemble table tennis and was a very simple game to play. Although it was simple, it was still very popular. It was so popular that most people know what this game is just by the name. As time went by, the people who created these games started to try a new approach to keep the games popular.

While keeping the games very simple in terms of controls and graphics, the creators started to implement some story into the video games. With this new addition, video games became more popular. Although the stories that these games had were short and simple, they kept their audience entertained. The game Super Mario Bros was a simple game that had a small story to it. The premise of the game was that the main character had to fight his way to the castle in order to save the princess who was being held captive by a monster. This game had a story that was very simple, but yet again the game itself became very popular and is still known today. As the years went by, the stories in the games became more developed and more in-depth than when they first started. In today’s gaming world, a popular game usually has a good story in it. Other aspects of the games have evolved as well.

An aspect that has become crucial to a game’s success is the graphics that it has. At first, video game graphics were very simple and unrealistic. Today, the graphics that we see in video games are very detailed in order to give them a realistic feeling. If we take the previous game titles, the first one, Pong, had a black background, white lines to show the limits of the field, a white circle for the ball and two white rectangles for paddles. The other game was made some years later, but the changes were very notable. The game had different coloured backgrounds, different character designs and many in-game props. Games that are published in the present have graphics that make the user feel like he is playing something that is real. For example, the game DiRT which is a racing game has car designs that are very realistic as well as scenery design that give it a real feeling. This sense of reality in games has made them increasingly popular to the public. This realistic aspect is not only found in the graphics.

Again, something that has kept video games popular is their realistic feeling. As it was previously mentioned, the graphics have played a major role in this. Another thing that has given games a sense of realism is the ability to interact with elements inside the world of the video game. At first, most of the elements were controlled by an artificial intelligence, but what really made games popular was the ability to interact with other gamers. With this, gamers can create communities inside the game. They make new friends in their cyber life. A game that has this element is called Second Life. The user can buy and sell items, houses, food and many other elements in the game. The user can also go into clubs which are made by other gamers like him. With this, the gamer is able to make new friends and play a game while he’s making them. This ability to make friends while playing a game is something that has made video games very popular.

While it is true that being able to play with someone that lives far from the gamer has made these games popular, it is also true that being able to play with a real friend has also contributed to games popularity. An example of this is with the games Guitar Hero and Rock Band. These games can be played with online friends, but they were made so that people can play together. For example, the latter game is most fun when played with friends at a party because up to four people can play it at the same time. When all four people are playing, each one has to contribute to make a song sound like the real version. One has to sing, another one has to play the drums, and the other two have to play a guitar and bass. There exists a vast variety of games like this that make them popular.

To conclude, the popularity of video games is determined by the constant innovations that the creators put in the games every year. These innovations give the public the feeling that they are always trying something that is new when they play.

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