Why Games Appreciation?

A Simple Question for a Simple Mind

Back in August of 2011 when I wrote my first Games Appreciation article 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.  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 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, although a contributing factor may have been me covering only a few games from the whole decade. 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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PONG

Original Version: PONG, released in 1972/08 for 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.

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Oregon Trail

Recommended version: Oregon Trail for DOS, released in 1992.

Original version: Oregon Trail for the HP 2100 microcomputer, released 1971/12/03

 

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 me 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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