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).
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.
Examples of text-based Teletype games include:
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.
Examples of handheld electronic games include:
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.
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 tabletop audio game is an audio game that is designed to be played on a table rather than a handheld game.
Examples of tabletop 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 history of video games goes as far back as the early 1950s, when academic computer scientists began designing simple games and simulations as part of their research or just for fun. At M.I.T. in the 1960s, professors and students played games such as 3D tic-tac-toe and Moon Landing. These games were played on computers such as the IBM 1560, and moves were made by means of punch cards. Video gaming did not reach mainstream popularity until the 1970s and 1980s, when video arcade games and gaming consoles using joysticks, buttons, and other controllers, along with graphics on computer screens and home computer games were introduced to the general public. Since the 1980s, video gaming has become a popular form of entertainment and a part of modern popular culture in most parts of the world. One of the early games was Spacewar!, which was developed by computer scientists. Early arcade video games developed from 1972 to 1978. During the 1970s, the first generation of home consoles emerged, including the popular game Pong and various "clones". The 1970s was also the era of mainframe computer games. The golden age of arcade video games was from 1978 to 1982. Video arcades with large, graphics-decorated coin-operated machines were common at malls and popular, affordable home consoles such as the Atari 2600 and Intellivision enabled people to play games on their home TVs. During the 1980s, gaming computers, early online gaming and handheld LCD games emerged; this era was affected by the video game crash of 1983. From 1976 to 1992, the second generation of video consoles emerged.
The Vectrex is a vector display-based home video game console developed by Smith Engineering. It was first released for North America in November 1982 and for both Europe and Japan in 1983. Originally manufactured by General Computer Electronics, it was licensed to Milton Bradley after they acquired the company. Bandai released the system in Japan.
A game controller, gaming controller, or simply controller, is an input device used with video 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 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.
The Visual Memory Unit (VMU), also referred to as the Visual Memory System (VMS) in Japan and Europe, is the primary memory card produced by Sega for the Dreamcast home video game console. The device features a monochrome liquid crystal display (LCD), multiplayer gaming capability, second screen functionality, a real-time clock, file manager, built-in flash memory, and sound capability. Prior to the launch of the Dreamcast, a special Godzilla edition VMU, preloaded with a virtual pet game, was released on July 30, 1998 in Japan.
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 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 Sonic the Hedgehog animated series. 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.
Adventure Vision is a scartridge-based video game console released by Entex Industries in either August or October 1982. The monitor, game controls, and computer hardware are all contained within a single portable unit. The LED monitor can only display red pixels. Four games were released, all of which are arcade ports.
A D-pad is a flat, usually thumb-operated, usually digital, 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.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to video games:
Handheld electronic games 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.
A dedicated console is a video game console that is limited to one or more built-in video game or games, and is not equipped for additional games that are distributed via ROM cartridges, discs, downloads or other digital media. Dedicated consoles were very popular in the first generation of video game consoles until they were gradually replaced by second-generation video game consoles that used ROM cartridges.
Brian L. Schmidt is a music composer for various video games and pinball games.
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: