Remember when video games were nothing more than a few pixels moving up and down, with a bouncing ball rolling across the screen? Yeah… me either, but I have heard stories about it, and it sounds awful. That said, I do remember having to load up MS dos mode on an early 90’s computer and type in some code I always forgot so I could play Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf.
Man games sucked back then. Sitting alone at a computer looking at a heavily pixelated screen, playing a game that could barely even hold half of my attention.
Little did I know, that soon, gaming would be changed forever. And it wasn’t the hardware that would do it, although that did play a crucial role. Instead, it would be something far less predictable. It was the internet.
We’ve all heard the stereotypes. Pimply faced kid in the basement, by himself for days on end, never seeing the sunlight, and eating Cheetos while downing caffeine. Well, no longer (except the Cheetos and caffeine part, that’s still a thing).
Since the advent of online multiplayer games, gaming has become a place where like-minded people who loved the same game could join lobbies and play together.
Gamers are no longer the socially awkward people they once were. No longer being secluded and alone, gamers are now a part of a community. A community that’s large enough for multi-billion dollar corporations to invest in platforms for players to share their favorite games with.
Let’s go back to the loner sitting at his computer myth; that’s pretty much no longer even a thing anymore. The sheer number and variety of games have brought nearly everyone to video games. Who among us hasn’t squared off with a friend in a battle of wits to see who walks away with the most points in Words with Friends?
Whether it’s male, female, young, or old; seemingly the whole world is playing video games now. Heck, my girlfriend and I slay some zombies on Call of Duty every Friday night with a platter of wings, a pizza, and some drinks.
Hotfixes and patches
Bo Jackson Tecmo Bowl, Corner 3 in Double Dribble… These are words that make any gamer from the late ’80s to early 90’s shutter. They were exploits in the games poor technology that made certain characters or certain plays unstoppable. And they remain there to this day.
Today, you would never see that happen. Thanks to the internet, game developers can fix any glitches in their games. Today’s gamers get patches and hotfixes on a near-weekly basis.
Along with the ability to fix problems in their games, developers are also able to add new content to their game; helping to improve replayability, thus lengthening the life span of their games.
Developers like Rockstar games use this flawlessly by adding new missions to their games every so often. It’s the reason that Grand Theft Auto 5 (a game that has been out for nearly seven years) is still one of the most popular games in the world. With new content coming out all the time, games don’t get boring nearly as fast as they used to.
Unfortunately, there are some not-so-awesome things that the world wide web has brought to gaming. That thing being micro-transactions. Game developers are now nickel and diming their customers by removing stuff that was once in the game and selling it back to them for money.
There are some egregious examples of this, for instance, Activision and Treyarch selling Call of Duty gamers a red dot sight for real life money. That’s just what it sounds like… a red dot that you can see.
“That game isn’t going to pay your bills you know…” I can still hear the ghost of my mother screaming that at me sometimes. But that’s not such a true statement anymore.
Possibly the best thing that the internet has done for gaming is to allow people to have a career doing the thing that they love most. Whether you report on, or write about games, develop games, or even play games. Gaming is now a legitimate way to earn a living.
ESPN even televises gaming tournaments, so you know there’s big money in it. And even if you’re not a professional gamer, you can still upload gameplay footage on platforms like YouTube for people to watch. You can do it AS A CAREER! There are thousands of people who make a good living doing that very thing.
About the author
Emily Jacobs is Happiness Ambassador for SpeedCheck.org
She loves to write latest technology trends and love to share her knowledge through her articles.