Why Games Appreciation?

A Simple Question for a Simple Mind

Back in August of 2011 when I wrote my first Games Appreciation article (Fun fact: I actually wrote Adventure first; I didn’t write Oregon Trail until August of 2014) I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I thought it would be a cinch to write about the games that held a special place in video game history. By then I had already compiled a list of games I considered the best; nothing to it, right? Well, in 2011-2012 I began intently reading up on the history of games so that I could one day call myself a Video Game Historian–and immediately shush any laughter that resulted–and during my research I found out that some games were overrated, some were sorely underrated, others still were completely forgotten. It became quite clear that my task was about to become a lot more involved. Here’s a sample of what 1982 had to offer.

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Japanese Video Game Industry: A Brief History 日本のビデオゲーム業界の短い歴史

sfiiThis is my semester project for Japanese 301. The first video is the finished product in Japanese, the second video contains an English dub, and the third is my rough draft, complete with grammar errors. Enjoy!

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A Gaming Decade in Review: 1970s

Wow, is it already the end of the decade? It seems like such a short time that I have been covering the games of the 1970s, though a part of that may have to do with me starting in 1978 and then (much) later going back to fill in the previous games. Whoops. Silly me. Silly, silly 2011 version of me. Well, at any rate we can take a look back now and see what has led us to this point. As we welcome the 1980s let’s appreciate the triumphs and (it is hoped) learn from the failures that came to pass.

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Tank [1974] |Arcade| HONORABLE MENTION

Explanation: This game carries the badge of “honorable mention,” meaning that the game’s status is one step below “Editor’s Choice.” A game with the label “Honorable Mention” is not quite a timeless classic. It is still an enjoyable game and may be important to video gaming history, and for that reason it merits a short mention all its own, but cannot be fully recommended.

Article forthcoming

 

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PONG [1972-08] |Arcade|

It wasn’t the first game ever made, but it has arguably been the most influential. Meet Pong, the first game of the Atari company. Founded by Ampex engineers Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in 1972, Atari’s name was taken from a move in the game of Go (the loose equivalent of “atari” would be “check” in chess). Bushnell’s and Dabney’s previous game, Computer Space, was a commercial failure, being too difficult and dense for the average gamer to enjoy. Bushnell though that the next big hit would be something just as complex. What happened was the opposite. Read more after the jump.

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Oregon Trail [1971-12-03] |DOS, 1992| (x/HP 2100 minicomputer)

Welcome to Games Appreciation! All are welcome here, especially those of you who don’t play video games or are unfamiliar with them. Before I start talking about Oregon Trail two paragraphs down, I’d like to explain exactly why I’m running this feature. Well, obviously, I love video games. Let’s get that one out of the way. But secondly, I want to share this medium with other people. When someone says “I don’t play video games,” or “I only play flash games online,” my heart sinks a little. There are so many wonderful moments in games that touched me over the years, from the aria in Final Fantasy VI, to the childhood scene in To the Moon. There were many things that haunted me, such as Doug Rattman’s horrible life in Portal, moments that made my cry (the ending of The Walking Dead), moments that made me question why I was doing what I was doing (the entirety of Shadow of the Colossus) and more.

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