Online games are the bread and butter of our daily entertainment. From phone games to RPG video games, everyone has at least tried online gaming. But it wasn’t always this way, of course.
The presence of online games is a modern invention. However, it might not be quite as modern as you think. We talked to gaming expert John Smith about the history of online game development. He shared that the journey to today’s best online casino in canada began all the way back in the 1940s.
Wait – online games as we know them dates back to the Second World War? That hardly seems possible, but the proof is in the patent. Keep reading as we give a brief overview of this fascinating history.
1940s: The beginning
Okay, perhaps the very first computer games weren’t exactly like the one’s on your mobile phone. But they weren’t all that different either. Edward U. Condon revealed the first computer game at the World’s Fair in 1940.
It was shown in the Westinghouse display to show the genius of computers and how humans could interact. Thousands of fairgoers played Nim, a simple but strategic game. The computer won over 90% of the matches played.
The first shooting game was developed in 1947. Developers Goldsmith and Mann filed a patent for their unique device, which included a moving display and a ray tube. Players were able to shoot moving targets with the ray tube acting as a gun.
1950s: An era of game development
Claude Shannon and Alan Turing each created computer programs that could play chess. The former was published when he laid out instructions for other creators to follow when programming such devices.
Just two years later, OXO (also called tic-tac-toe or noughts and crosses) was developed to study computers and players. By the middle of the decade, many more programs were created.
This included a master checker player, the first computerized blackjack game, maze creations, strategic war programs, and a tennis game. These games – casino games, chess, checkers, and mazes – are still the leading categories of online gaming today.
1960s: Wars and programming
The 1960s kicked off on a more concerning note. With tensions high between the USSR and the USA, programs are created to simulate a nuclear weapons exchange. The first computer video game called Spacewar! is developed and shared across countless computers.
In 1964, students at Dartmouth began typing “Hello World.” This adage is familiar to anyone taking computer science classes today – it’s always the first thing you program a computer to say. John Kemeny develops the computer time-share system.
This allows people in different locations to access the same computerized information. This and the development of BASIC leads to a boon in computer game production. The decade finishes out with the first TV-compatible consoles, Brown Box and Odyssey.
1970s: Early classics are born
This decade saw the creation of games and consoles that are still in use today. The transition to widespread gameplay and home access sets the precedent for widespread online gaming in the distant future. From arcade games to Ataris, everyone falls in love with gaming.
This was the decade that spawned sports games, Pong, Space Invaders, and the Oregon Trail. These games were distributed on a large scale and became part of everyday culture and public knowledge.
1980s: Entertainment in the palm of your hand
These days, the 1980s is usually recognized as the start of online gaming. That’s because this decade saw some pretty long-lasting changes in how people could game. It kicked off in 1980 with the ever-addictive game of Pacman.
Nintendo introduced Mario and Donkey Kong the following year, and Tron was released the year after that. The number-one online game of all time – Tetris – was developed and released in 1984. Close to the end of the decade, the Legend of Zelda and John Madden football were being played on computers around the world.
In 1989, something revolutionary occurred. Nintendo released the first-ever Game Boy. It was an instant hit and the beginning of handheld gaming.
1990s: CD Rom games and everyone’s favorite card game
The 90s kicked off strong with widespread inclusion of the computer game Solitaire for Windows. People who hadn’t yet been to arcades or play on an Atari found this game loaded for free. It’s quick and simple to play, which helped pave the way for future casual games.
Sonic, Dune II, Mortal Kombat, and more enter the public domain. This was the time when popular games were available to all PC computers via CD Rom. This included the Legend of Zelda sequel, World of Warcraft, and Tomb Raider.
At this point, most players weren’t online yet. However, CD Rom use did establish a social factor to widespread gaming across all skill levels and interests. All that was left to do was go live.
2000s: Can someone send me wheat?
From 2000 to 2010, there was greater development in console games – but we’re less interested in that. The Sims did popularize simulation games in 2000, which are among the most played online titles to date. Two other major occurrences did change how we game.
First, online casinos began cropping up all over the place. While the first ones had started to make appearances in the late 1990s, there was a surge of brands that are still highly respected today. This gave players the ability to gamble from home.
In 2009, there was another wave of development. Easy, user-friendly, shareable games popped into existence. Also called social games, these online hits include things like Angry Birds and Farmville. Everyone is suddenly gaming on their phones and computers thanks to the internet.
2010s: Microtransactions and team games
The last ten years has seen a diverse set of circumstances arise. Notably, 2014 and 2015 saw the widespread release of online games that are free to play. Of course, there was the now-familiar option to buy cheats, coins, and power-ups with real money.
It wasn’t all paid development, of course. There was also the release of downloadable mobile games like Pokémon Go, which seemed to bring people together over the summer. At this point, nearly every person with internet access has some sort of online game they enjoy.
What does the future hold?
The next question is: what does the future hold? It’s hard to imagine what might be developed next. Did the attendees of the World Fair predict this kind of gaming in the palms of our hands? Probably not. For now, we’ll just have to keep our eyes on the horizon.