An electronic game is a game that employs electronics to create an interactive system with which a player can play. Video game is the most common form today, and for this reason the two terms are often mistakenly used synonymously. Other common forms of electronic game include such products as handheld electronic games, standalone systems (e.g. pinball, slot machines, or electro-mechanical arcade games), and exclusively non-visual products (e.g. audio games).
A game is a structured form of play, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, which is usually carried out for remuneration, and from art, which is more often an expression of aesthetic or ideological elements. However, the distinction is not clear-cut, and many games are also considered to be work or art.
Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. The identification of the electron in 1897, along with the invention of the vacuum tube, which could amplify and rectify small electrical signals, inaugurated the field of electronics and the electron age.
Play is a range of voluntary, intrinsically motivated activities done for recreational pleasure and enjoyment. Play is commonly associated with children and juvenile-level activities, but play occurs at any life stage, and among other higher-functioning animals as well, most notably mammals.
The earliest form of computer game to achieve any degree of mainstream use was the text-based Teletype game. Teletype games lack video display screens and instead present the game to the player by printing a series of characters on paper which the player reads as it emerges from the platen. Practically this means that each action taken will require a line of paper and thus a hard-copy record of the game remains after it has been played. This naturally tends to reduce the size of the gaming universe or alternatively to require a great amount of paper. As computer screens became standard during the rise of the third generation computer, text-based command line-driven language parsing Teletype games transitioned into visual interactive fiction allowing for greater depth of gameplay and reduced paper requirements. This transition was accompanied by a simultaneous shift from the mainframe environment to the personal computer.
A teleprinter is an electromechanical device that can be used to send and receive typed messages through various communications channels, in both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint configurations. Initially they were used in telegraphy, which developed in the late 1830s and 1840s as the first use of electrical engineering. The machines were adapted to provide a user interface to early mainframe computers and minicomputers, sending typed data to the computer and printing the response. Some models could also be used to create punched tape for data storage and to read back such tape for local printing or transmission.
A platen is a flat platform with a variety of roles in printing or manufacturing. It can be a flat metal plate pressed against a medium to cause an impression in letterpress printing. Platen may also refer to a typewriter roller which friction-feeds paper into position below the typebars or print head, it can refer to the glass surface of a copier, or it can refer to the rotating disk used to polish semiconductor wafers.
A command-line interface or command language interpreter (CLI), also known as command-line user interface, console user interface and character user interface (CUI), is a means of interacting with a computer program where the user issues commands to the program in the form of successive lines of text. A program which handles the interface is called a command language interpreter or shell.
Examples of text-based Teletype games include:
The Oregon Trail is a text-based strategy video game developed by Don Rawitsch, Bill Heinemann, and Paul Dillenberger in 1971 and produced by the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC) beginning in 1975. It was developed by the three as a computer game to teach school children about the realities of 19th-century pioneer life on the Oregon Trail. In the game, the player assumes the role of a wagon leader guiding a party of settlers from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon via a covered wagon in 1847. Along the way the player must purchase supplies, hunt for food, and make choices on how to proceed along the trail while encountering random events such as storms and wagon breakdowns. The original versions of the game contain no graphics, as they were developed for computers that used teleprinters instead of computer monitors. A later Apple II port added a graphical shooting minigame.
TREK73 is a computer game based on the original Star Trek television series. It was created in 1973 by William K. Char, Perry Lee, and Dan Gee for the Hewlett-Packard 2000 minicomputer in HP Time-Shared BASIC. The game was played via teletype.
Dungeon was one of the earliest role-playing video games, running on PDP-10 mainframe computers manufactured by Digital Equipment Corporation.
The earliest form of dedicated console, handheld electronic games are characterized by their size and portability. Used to play interactive games, handheld electronic games are often miniaturized versions of video games. The controls, display and speakers are all part of a single unit, and rather than a general-purpose screen made up of a grid of small pixels, they usually have custom displays designed to play one game. This simplicity means they can be made as small as a digital watch, which they sometimes are. The visual output of these games can range from a few small light bulbs or LED lights to calculator-like alphanumerical screens; later these were mostly displaced by liquid crystal and Vacuum fluorescent display screens with detailed images and in the case of VFD games, color. Handhelds were at their most popular from the late 1970s into the early 1990s. They are both the precursors to and inexpensive alternatives to the handheld game console.
A dedicated console is a video game console that is dedicated to a built in game or games, and is not equipped for additional games, via cartridges, discs or other media.
In digital imaging, a pixel, pel, or picture element is a physical point in a raster image, or the smallest addressable element in an all points addressable display device; so it is the smallest controllable element of a picture represented on the screen.
A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor light source that emits light when current flows through it. Electrons in the semiconductor recombine with electron holes, releasing energy in the form of photons. This effect is called electroluminescence. The color of the light is determined by the energy required for electrons to cross the band gap of the semiconductor. White light is obtained by using multiple semiconductors or a layer of light-emitting phosphor on the semiconductor device.
Examples of handheld electronic games include:
Mattel Auto Race is the first in the line of many Mattel Electronics games, and is credited with being the first handheld game that was entirely digital, with only solid-state electronics, having no moving mechanisms except the controls and on/off switch.
Simon is an electronic game of memory skill invented by Ralph H. Baer and Howard J. Morrison, working for toy design firm Marvin Glass and Associates, with software programming by Lenny Cope. The device creates a series of tones and lights and requires a user to repeat the sequence. If the user succeeds, the series becomes progressively longer and more complex. Once the user fails or the time limit runs out, the game is over. The original version was manufactured and distributed by Milton Bradley and later by Hasbro after it took over Milton Bradley. Much of the assembly language was written by Charles Kapps, who taught computer science at Temple University and also wrote one of the first books on the theory of computer programming. Simon was launched in 1978 at Studio 54 in New York City and was an immediate success, becoming a pop culture symbol of the 1970s and 1980s.
Merlin was a handheld electronic game first made by Parker Brothers in 1978. The game was invented by former NASA employee Bob Doyle, his wife Holly, and brother-in-law Wendl Thomis. Merlin is notable as one of the earliest and most popular handheld games, selling over 5 million units during its initial run, as well as one of the most long-lived, remaining popular throughout the 1980s. A version of the game was re-released in 2004 by the Milton Bradley Company.
Since the introduction of electromechanics to the pinball machine in 1933's Contact, pinball has become increasingly dependent on electronics as a means to keep score on the backglass and to provide quick impulses on the playfield (as with bumpers and flippers) for exciting gameplay. Unlike games with electronic visual displays, pinball has retained a physical display that is viewed on a table through glass. Similar forms of game such as pachinko have also become increasingly dependent on electronics in modern times.
In engineering, electromechanics combines processes and procedures drawn from electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. Electromechanics focuses on the interaction of electrical and mechanical systems as a whole and how the two systems interact with each other. This process is especially prominent in systems such as those of DC Machines which can be designed and operated to generate power from a mechanical process (generator) or used to power a mechanical effect (motor). Electrical engineering in this context also encompasses electronics engineering.
Pachinko (パチンコ) is a type of mechanical game originating in Japan and is used as both a form of recreational arcade game and much more frequently as a gambling device, filling a Japanese gambling niche comparable to that of the slot machine in Western gaming.
Examples of pinball games include:
Redemption games such as Skee Ball have been around since the days of the carnival game - well earlier than the development of the electronic game, however with modern advances many of these games have been re-worked to employ electronic scoring and other game mechanics. The use of electronic scoring mechanisms has allowed carnival or arcade attendants to take a more passive role, simply exchanging prizes for electronically dispensed coupons and occasionally emptying out the coin boxes or banknote acceptors of the more popular games.
Merchandisers such as the Claw Crane are more recent electronic games in which the player must accomplish a seemingly simple task (e.g. remotely controlling a mechanical arm) with sufficient ability to earn a reward.
Examples of redemption games include:
Examples of merchandisers include:
The slot machine is a casino gambling machine with three or more reels which spin when a button is pushed. Though slot machines were originally operated mechanically by a lever on the side of the machine (the one arm) instead of an electronic button on the front panel as used on today's models, many modern machines still have a "legacy lever" in addition to the button on the front. Slot machines include a currency detector that validates the coin or money inserted to play. The machine pays off based on patterns of symbols visible on the front of the machine when it stops. Modern computer technology has resulted in many variations on the slot machine concept.
An audio game is a game played on an electronic device such as—but not limited to—a personal computer. It is similar to a video game save that the only feedback device is audible rather than visual. Audio games originally started out as 'blind accessible'-games, but recent interest in audio games has come from sound artists, game accessibility researchers, mobile game developers, and mainstream video gamers. Most audio games run on a computer platform, although there are a few audio games for handhelds and video game consoles. Audio games feature the same variety of genres as video games, such as adventure games, racing games, etc.
Examples of audio games include:
A video game is a game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. The word video in video game traditionally referred to a raster display device.However, with the popular use of the term "video game", it now implies any type of display device.
Electronic video arcade games make extensive use of solid state electronics and integrated circuits. In the past coin-operated arcade video games generally used custom per-game hardware often with multiple CPUs, highly specialized sound and graphics chips and/or boards, and the latest in computer graphics display technology. Recent arcade game hardware is often based on modified video game console hardware or high end pc components. Arcade games may feature specialized ambiance or control accessories, including fully enclosed dynamic cabinets with force feedback controls, dedicated lightguns, rear-projection displays, reproductions of car or plane cockpits and even motorcycle or horse-shaped controllers, or even highly dedicated controllers such as dancing mats and fishing rods. These accessories are usually what set modern arcade games apart from PC or console games, and they provide an experience that some gamers consider more immersing and realistic.
Examples of arcade games include:
A personal computer video game (also known as a computer game or simply PC game) is a video game played on a personal computer, rather than on a video game console or arcade machine. The vast majority of computer games today are video games, and since the earliest days of the medium, visual displays such as the cathode ray tube have been used to relay game information.
A console game is a form of interactive multimedia used for entertainment. The game consists of manipulable images (and usually sounds) generated by a video game console, and displayed on a television or similar audio-video system. The game itself is usually controlled and manipulated using a handheld device connected to the console called a controller. The controller generally contains a number of buttons and directional controls (such as analog joysticks) each of which has been assigned a purpose for interacting with and controlling the images on the screen. The display, speakers, console, and controls of a console can also be incorporated into one small object known as a handheld game console.
Console games are most frequently differentiated between by their compatibility with consoles belonging in the following categories:
Within these categories the systems are differentiated between by their manufacturer and generation (corresponding to the year of their release). Console games are also often differentiated by game genre.
Game hybridization refers to the integration of an interactive, electronic component into a game. A "hybrid" or "combined game" is any tabletop game where an electronic device and/or application is an element crucial to the gameplay.These games are a catalyst for creating new game mechanics. Important consequences of this technology are: the possible substitution of the gamemaster or person who leads a game for an application or device, which can be more fair, with less room for bias, cheating or favouritism, and can be intelligently randomised; the possibility of using artificial intelligence and machine learning in games; greater randomisation of events; possibility of conducting fast and advanced mathematical calculations, making some complex games easier or available to a wider group of consumers; and enhanced player immersion with the aid of various stimuli like sound or animation.
One may categorize hybrid games as follows:
Electronics have been adapted for use in a wide range of applications. Board games such as Dark Tower , for instance, rely heavily upon electronics. Non-traditional electronic games such as Rubik's Revolution or electronic toys which blur the boundaries between games and toys such as the Electronic Magic 8 Ball Date Ballor the Electronic Ouija Board are often considered electronic games as well.
These were types of arcade games similar to arcade video games but relying on electro-mechanical components to produce sounds or images rather than a cathode ray tube screen.These were popular during the 1960s and 1970s, but video games eventually overtook them in popularity during the golden age of video arcade games that began in 1978.
A popular early example was Sega's Periscope in 1966.It was an early submarine simulator and light gun shooter, which used lights and plastic waves to simulate sinking ships from a submarine. Sega later produced gun games which resemble first-person shooter video games, but were in fact electro-mechanical games that used rear image projection in a manner similar to the ancient zoetrope to produce moving animations on a screen. An early example of this was the light gun game Duck Hunt , which Sega released in 1969; it featured animated moving targets on a screen, printed out the player's score on a ticket, and had sound effects that were volume controllable.
With the development of technology geared toward electronic entertainment of animals (typically pets), video games for pets have also been created. Since the majority of animals lack opposable thumbs, the fine motor skills required for use in most gaming is unavailable to these animals. Furthermore, the visual perception of many animals is influenced by a different visible spectrum than humans.Techniques that de-emphasize manual control and visual components have been developed to circumvent these problems beginning with the development of television for pets. From this point, developers have branched out into the realm of electronic games with such products as Mice Arena (for mice), Chicken Petman, and Cyberpounce (for cats).
The Game.com is a fifth-generation handheld game console released by Tiger Electronics in August 1997. A smaller version, the Game.com Pocket Pro, was released in mid-1999. The first version of the Game.com can be connected to a 14.4 kbit/s modem for Internet connectivity, hence its name referencing the top level domain .com. It was the first video game console to include a touchscreen and the first handheld console to include Internet connectivity. The Game.com sold less than 300,000 units and was discontinued in 2000 because of poor sales.
A handheld game console, or simply handheld console, is a small, portable self-contained video game console with a built-in screen, game controls, and speakers. Handheld game consoles are smaller than home video game consoles and contain the console, screen, speakers, and controls in one unit, allowing people to carry them and play them at any time or place.
The Neo Geo, stylised as NEO・GEO, also written as NEOGEO, is a cartridge-based arcade system board and fourth-generation home video game console released on April 26, 1990, by Japanese game company SNK Corporation. It was the first system in SNK's Neo Geo family. The Neo Geo was marketed as 24-bit; its CPU is technically a 16/32-bit 68000-based system with an 8/16-bit Z80 coprocessor, while its GPU chipset has a 24-bit graphics data bus.
The Vectrex is a vector display-based home video game console that was developed by Western Technologies/Smith Engineering. It was licensed and distributed first by General Consumer Electronics (GCE), and then by Milton Bradley Company after its purchase of GCE. It was released in November 1982 at a retail price of $199 ; as Milton Bradley took over international marketing the price dropped to $150, then reduced again to $100 shortly before the video game crash of 1983 and finally retailed at $49 after the crash. The Vectrex went off the console market in early 1984.
A game controller is a device used with games or entertainment systems to provide input to a video game, typically to control an object or character in the game. Before the seventh generation of video game consoles, plugging in a controller into one of a console's controller ports were the primary means of using a game controller, although since then they have been replaced by wireless controllers, which do not require controller ports on the console but are battery-powered. USB game controllers could also be connected to a computer with a USB port. Input devices that have been classified as game controllers include keyboards, mouses, gamepads, joysticks, etc. Special purpose devices, such as steering wheels for driving games and light guns for shooting games, are also game controllers.
A multiplayer video game is a video game in which more than one person can play in the same game environment at the same time, either locally or over the internet. During its early history, video games were often single-player-only activities, putting the player against pre-programmed challenges or AI-controlled opponents, which lack the flexibility of human thought. Multiplayer games allow players interaction with other individuals in partnership, competition or rivalry, providing them with social communication absent from single-player games. In multiplayer games, players may compete against one or more human contestants, work cooperatively with a human partner to achieve a common goal, supervise other players' activity, co-op. Multiplayer games usually require players to share the resources of a single game system or use networking technology to play together over a greater distance.
A console game is a form of interactive multimedia entertainment, consisting of manipulable images generated by a video game console and displayed on a television or similar audio-video system. The game itself is usually controlled and manipulated using a handheld device connected to the console, called a controller. The controller generally contains a number of buttons and directional controls such as analogue joysticks, each of which has been assigned a purpose for interacting with and controlling the images on the screen. The display, speakers, console, and controls of a console can also be incorporated into one small object known as a handheld game.
A handheld TV game or just TV game or a plug and play game is an interactive entertainment device designed for use on a television set that integrates the video game console with the game controller.
An audio game is an electronic game played on a device such as a personal computer. It is similar to a video game save that there is audible and tactile feedback but not visual.
1983 has seen many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Mario Bros., Pole Position II and Spy Hunter.
Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, commonly abbreviated to Sonic Spinball, is a 1993 pinball video game developed by Sega Technical Institute and published by Sega. It is a spinoff of the Sonic the Hedgehog series set in the universe of the animated series Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Players control Sonic the Hedgehog, who must stop Doctor Robotnik from enslaving the population in a giant pinball-like mechanism. The game is set in a series of pinball machine-like environments, and Sonic acts as a pinball for the majority of the game.
WMS Industries, Inc. is an American electronic gaming and amusement manufacturer in Enterprise, Nevada. WMS traces its roots to 1943, to the Williams Manufacturing Company, founded by Harry E. Williams. However, the company that became WMS Industries was formally founded in 1974 as Williams Electronics, Inc.
The TurboExpress is a handheld video game console by NEC Home Electronics, released in late 1990 in Japan and the United States as the TurboExpress Handheld Entertainment System. It is essentially a portable version of the TurboGrafx-16 home console that came two to three years earlier, and was released as the PC Engine GT in Japan. Its launch price in Japan was ¥44,800 and $249.99 in the U.S.
A D-pad is a flat, usually thumb-operated four-way directional control with one button on each point, found on nearly all modern video game console gamepads, game controllers, on the remote control units of some television and DVD players, and smart phones. Like early video game joysticks, the vast majority of D-pads are digital; in other words, only the directions provided on the D-pad buttons can be used, with no intermediate values. However, combinations of two directions do provide diagonals and many modern D-pads can be used to provide eight-directional input if appropriate.
Fueled by the previous year's release of the colorful and appealing Pac-Man, the audience for arcade games in 1981 became much wider. Pac-Man influenced maze games began appearing in arcades and on home systems. Nintendo broke from their mediocre early releases with Donkey Kong which defined the platform genre.
Handheld electronic game(s) are very small, portable devices for playing interactive electronic games, often miniaturized versions of video games. The controls, display and speakers are all part of a single unit. Rather than a general-purpose screen made up of a grid of small pixels, they usually have custom displays designed to play one game. This simplicity means they can be made as small as a smartwatch, and sometimes are. The visual output of these games can range from a few small light bulbs or LED lights to calculator-like alphanumerical screens; later these were mostly displaced by liquid crystal and vacuum fluorescent display screens with detailed images and in the case of VFD games, color. Handhelds were at their most popular from the late 1970s into the early 1990s. They are the precursors to the handheld game console.
The 1997 film, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and the closely related Michael Crichton novel of the same name provided material for a number of video games. These include:
A ROM cartridge, usually referred to simply as a cartridge or cart, is a removable memory card containing ROM designed to be connected to a consumer electronics device such as a home computer, video game console or, to a lesser extent, electronic musical instruments. ROM cartridges can be used to load software such as video games or other application programs.
The history of video games spans a period of time between the invention of the first electronic games and today, covering a long period of invention and changes. Video gaming reached mainstream popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, when arcade video games, gaming consoles and home computer games were introduced to the general public. Since then, video gaming has become a popular form of entertainment and a part of modern culture in most parts of the world. The early history of video games, therefore, covers the period of time between the first interactive electronic game with an electronic display in 1947, the first true video games in the early 1950s, and the rise of early arcade video games in the 1970s. During this time there was a wide range of devices and inventions corresponding with large advances in computing technology, and the actual first video game is dependent on the definition of "video game" used.