Secrets of Success: How Have Videogames Become a Global Phenomenon?

Videogames have a relatively short history in humankind’s development but have quickly become a truly global phenomenon. One of the first games to be created was called Spacewar! and was developed by MIT students as a project in 1962. However, the first commercially available games started to be developed in the early 1970s and played on the first console, which was known as the Magnavox Odyssey. These early games were basic in every respect. Sound effects were low fidelity and sparsely populated the game. Graphics were little more than lines on the screen (such as can be seen in Pong, which was one of the earliest arcade games). Today, billions of people worldwide enjoy playing complex games that are similar in quality to watching a high-budget movie. In this article, the secrets of video gaming success as a global entertainment medium will be explored.

Fast home internet supporting complex online games

Modern, Triple-A titles such as EA FC 24 and online multiplayer shooters such as Counterstrike use high-resolution graphics, and advanced lighting effects, requiring high volumes of data to be sent between the online server and the gamers console or PC. Button inputs must be sent to the server extremely quickly to impact the online game, typically needing to take place in a few milliseconds to ensure smooth gameplay. Put simply, without fast and reliable home internet connections, modern online gaming simply would not be possible. Ping rates and latency levels would be too high to allow effective gaming to take place. Thankfully, the rollout of fiber internet has continued across the globe. Companies such as Frontier specialize in installing superfast fiber internet that has no caps on monthly download limits and provides speeds of up to 5 Gig per second. This speed of internet access is more than enough to allow voluminous data to be sent between the gamer’s system and the online server with minimal delays. In short, modern online gaming relies on superfast internet connections to deliver complex and believable online worlds with minimal latency.

Constant improvements in processing power and hardware

Many older gamers will fondly remember the days of 8-bit and 16-bit gaming. Hand-drawn sprites were commonly used along with basic but captivating lo-fi soundtracks to accompany the action. These games still have nostalgic appeal and there is a market for retro-inspired gaming even today. However, these games were limited by the processing power and hardware of computers and early consoles. Today, the current crop of next-generation consoles effectively blur the lines between film and gaming. The current level of computer processors can support advanced lighting effects such as ray tracing, which gives a cinematic quality to gaming environments. As processing power continues to improve, the overall gaming experience becomes more complex, immersive, and believable. This is one of the key reasons why gaming has increased in popularity over the last decade. At present, advanced and emerging technology, such as the use of VR headsets and augmented reality in gaming, seeks to further blur the line between games and reality. This technology is still relatively new but has great potential to shape the gaming landscape over the next decade.