Gaming has become a substantial industry with professional players and massive international competitions. From the teen-targeted arcade games of old and the ‘tink-tink’ of home consoles to a highly technical and complex industry, gaming is evolving almost daily. Technology has advanced right alongside to produce computers specifically geared toward the graphic and speed demands of games, including multi-tasking screens that display the graphics in ultra HD and exceptional detail.
Since 1971 when the first commercial arcade game, Computer Space, was created, gaming has taken the world by storm. Arcade games like Space Invaders became so popular that during 1978 Japan experienced a shortage of 100-yen coins for a while. In 1980, it was Pac-Man, with the first ever animated main character, that had youth whiling away hours in Arcades. Then along came Mario (initially known as ‘jumpman’) in Donkey Kong – this was one of the first games to introduce multiple levels. Russian Alexey Patjitnov created Tetris, but he had to cede his invention to the Russian Government. Four years later, American Henk Rogers bought the game from the Russian Government and persuaded Nintendo to release it. In 1989, Sim City was released for computers and Game Boy launched with pre-loaded Tetris. Sonic the Hedgehog also made an appearance along with the release of the Sega Genesis Console.
While these games improved and competed, the 1990’s saw the release of Doom, a first-person shooter game. Mortal Kombat was deemed exceptionally violent and The Entertainment Software Ratings Board was formed. Warcraft also exploded onto the scene and was one of the first strategy games with detailed missions. Warcraft has now evolved into one of the most popular multiplayer online games.
In the mid-1990s, PlayStation took the world by storm with Gran Turismo and Resident Evil becoming highly popular games. At the end of the decade, Sega released its last console and the first one capable of online play.
Into the 2000s, Xbox and Nintendo Wii began competing with PlayStation and gaming consoles began to attract people who didn’t normally play game – this was achieved by including Blu-Rays and the capability of streaming music or movies. The online world changed the possibilities of gaming and today gaming clans have emerged – these clans range from a few friends to groups of over 4,000 people and sometimes compete on online platforms. In 2014, VR began to infiltrate the gaming scene and virtual reality began to enhance gaming experiences.
As games become ever more sophisticated, so does the equipment required by gamers – whether they are professionals or occasional dabblers. Samsung launched the QLED Gaming Monitor for gamers who want to fully immerse themselves in their gameplay. The monitor has ultra-fast speeds, OSD dashboard menu, multiple-screen display and 3000:1 contrast for deep blacks and brilliant whites.
“The Gaming industry is moving quickly from a technology perspective – Samsung is moving as quickly with innovation to enhance game-play and address the unique and specific needs of serious players,” says Mike van Lier, Director Consumer Electronics of Samsung South Africa.
With huge advances in language-processing artificial intelligence and the creation of open-ended dialogue with computers and accuracy in voice-recognition, gaming will continue to evolve and may just be unrecognisable in the next 10 years.