The improvements in video game technology…

… over the past 40* or so years, basically in the time I’ve been alive, are really quite impressive when you stop long enough to think about it:

I sit down some evenings and play a video game with anywhere between 4 and 1,400 strangers — depending on the game — at the same time. Most of whom are literally tens to hundreds of miles from my home and even, occasionally, on the other side of the planet. Not to mention the obvious improvement in graphics as shown above. It’s been a long time since I had to wait for a friend to come over just to play a game on the old Atari 2600 together.

Nabbed from The Meta Picture.

*Technically it’s been 39 years since the first Pong machine was deployed in June of 1972, but what’s a few months between friends?

3 thoughts on “The improvements in video game technology…

  1. It is pretty damned amazing. The physics for games have come a long way as well. Some of the driving games seem so real these days. I want another, even better, Twisted Metal! I still have one complaint that keeps me from enjoying the most popular games right now, which is that for as realistic as the graphics are getting, the motion can be very hard on my eyes. When standing still, the characters and backgrounds could almost be real, but at full running speed or when changing directions quickly, a lot of it loses definition and becomes just a big shaky blur, much more so than things do in real life when running or jumping. Maybe it’s just my eyesight, or bad hand control, or both, but all of the Call of Duty type games just make me dizzy and give me a headache.

    I was never a serious gamer as a kid or adult, but I do sometimes wish I still had my old Atari 2600 and NES. Once in a while I get a strong urge to play a bit of Pitfall or a few tracks of Excitebike. It’s been almost 20 years, I wonder if I could still complete every level of Super Mario Brothers at full running speed…if I remember right, the best I ever did was about 8 minutes or so…

    …..(a few minutes later) checked it out a bit….apparently someone has done it in 5 minutes, possibly with a debateable warp zone glitch expoitation. I’ve always known I wasn’t a serious gamer of any kind, but reading a few of the blog posts and comments cements it. There are people both older and younger than me who know every last glitch in that game and many others, and debate furiously, and use computer assistance to exploit glitches that are too hard to do unassisted. I guess it’s a logical progression, but when I was in junior high/high school, we would try to get the fastest times with and without shortcuts (excuse me, warp zones), and make a little competition out of it between maybe 2 or 3 friends, and the amusement was good for maybe an hour or two. The posts I was just reading were more like Olympic competition commentary with a team of hundreds of fact-checkers and stopwatch referees…I learned that they are called “speedruns”, that they are no longer cool to some people, that there are websites that charge fees and offer prizes for speedrun winners, and that those who do such things are part of the “precision gaming” community.

    I don’t think I could muster that level of patience and attention for Super Mario Bros. or any game for that matter. It wasn’t all THAT fascinating, but hey, to each their own.

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