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"Wow Grandpa, That's What A Video Game Used To Be?!"

Don't ask me where this industry is going to be in ten years, twenty years, fifty years. I don't know where it's going to be in two years.

Thing is, I always imagined I'd have kids saying things like, "Damn, you actually played those things?" when seeing an old Atari game. I thought I'd be around during the pinnacle of the interactive evolution, and I'd look back on the Atari and Nintendo days with a wistful smile, knowing just how far we've come. But we all have to realize that down the road, some young'un is going to look at Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and laugh. They'll laugh the way kids today laugh at Pong. The scary part is that such an occurrence is impossible for us to fathom.

We're just lousy future predictors. There was nobody I knew when I was growing up in the 80s who could've predicted how far we'd come. You have to remember that I came from a generation that basically sh** its pants when it first saw Wolfenstein. And with each new generation, we all go, "Jesus, how can it look any more realistic?!" The bottom line is we have no idea; virtual reality could be closer than any of us think at this rate. And then what? What's beyond that? Parallel dimensions we can tap into and explore? Will those be the "games" of the far-off distant future?

All I know is that I know nothing. So what if I've been around since the dawn of video games in the home? It doesn't do me a bit of good. I can't tell you what's going to happen even in the near future and to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure I want to know...

Tags: video games, gaming culture, gaming industry, gamers

7/3/2012 9:11:12 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (24 posts)

BikerSaint
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 @ 9:38:46 PM
Reply

Ha, I've already a Grandpa for over 10 years now, but I know what you mean.......

And I came from that distant generation that basically sh** its pants when we first saw Pong.

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tes37
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 @ 9:58:10 PM
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I remember there being a pong console. I don't know what it was called, but it had pong built in and that's all it played. It was probably just called pong.

I had an Atari growing up and things have changed dramatically since then, but I had no idea that games would one day be like they are. I like them now as much as I liked games of the past, although they're different now.

I'm in the same boat with most people because I couldn't begin to predict what will happen in the future for gaming either. I hope I'm around to see a giant leap beyond current games. :)

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Temjin001
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 @ 10:40:31 PM

We had one growing up. It was Sears Pong (that's right, like the over priced shopping stores). All it did was pong and it came with two paddles hardwired into it. Black and white only.
It made what seems like 2 sounds and when you won the screen looked like a monochromatic phase shifting checkerboard.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 @ 10:53:39 PM

tes37,
I don't own the original Pong console, but I do have a 1977 Telestar Alpha(made by Coleco)in my collection.

It looks similar to the original Intellivision including the same brown color, but about a 1/3 smaller & with turning knobs on the console itself, instead of controllers.

It comes with 4 different games in it, tennis, hockey, hand-ball & jai alai.

And you know what????
Other than using either one or a double-paddle line bar to hit the balls(or using no bar at all), all 4 games are all nothing more than exact clones of Pong.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 7/3/2012 10:56:23 PM

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 @ 11:07:24 PM

Here's a better description of the Telstar Alpha, along with some gameplay.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLGT7GAq-Dw

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Fane1024
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 10:05:41 PM

We've still got our Pong system in a box somewhere in my parents' basement.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 @ 10:55:28 PM
Reply

Smurfs on Colecovision blew me away.

Even if I could step into a holodeck I'd still want to play my console games :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 9:59:06 AM

Smurfs!

Too bad I wasn't genius enough to understand the Colecovision controller.

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firesoul453
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 @ 11:30:45 PM
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I was just watching e3 2005 and its just wierd how fast video games evolve.
!

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Temjin001
Tuesday, July 03, 2012 @ 11:35:13 PM
Reply

While I don't disagree games 10 to 20 years from now will probably be a lot more advanced than what we have now, I do think the games we have today are quite a bit less one-dimensional than the games we had in the early 80's. So much so I'd think people won't see them as much as basic one trick ponies.
There just wasn't much by way of music, story, or any game play that went beyond the most simplest of design back then.

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ZenChichiri
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 12:19:04 AM
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Imagine when chess was introduced! They must have said something like "We used to just beat each other with sticks for fun, but now we can play chess!"

That was a huge leap. Probably the largest actually.

In all seriousness, I think that games won't change as much in the next few years as they were rapidly changing in the past when new technology was being introduced so fast. I still think it will drastically improve though, but it just won't be as much of a leap. Then again, who can really say? I might be proven completely wrong, but just my current opinion of things ;)

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Kall555
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 12:30:23 AM
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Reminds me of when i first got into gaming when i walked into an arcade & played Samurai Showdown & Street Fighter for the first time.

I wanted to take the arcade machines home with me, i was gob-smacked.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 2:35:54 AM
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I believe we've seen nothing yet. And that's part of why i think it's so fun both to be a computer and gaming enthusiast.

Up until today all games have been extremely limited by only having the capacity to focus on the immediate there and then moment. I think this is where we got major changes ahead, and what we in the future will look back at these years and point out.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/4/2012 2:38:17 AM

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___________
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 6:30:59 AM
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its not impossible to fathom, its obvious!
such is progress.
though i dunno if i would call it progress, though.
graphics and scale have gone a long, long way!
but gameplay and storytelling its been nothing but decades of going backwards!
gameplay wise were still behind of the donkey kong, marios and wolfensteins of the year.
a while ago a fan created a video called "what doom would be like if it was created in 2012".
and to be honest it dictates everything thats wrong with this generation!
sad really.
how in some ways we have come such a long way, and in others we have gone so far backwards!

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br0d1n
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 5:42:54 PM

...you're saying that the gameplay and story telling in Donkey Kong tops any of the blockbuster titles we've seen in the last 5 years?

Don't get me wrong, I love me some DK as much as the next guy, but seriously. Get real.

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duomaxwell007
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 9:04:47 AM
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to be completely honest.. when i was kid games looked like pong and pacman.. now almost 30 years later we have games that look like uncharted 3? umm if thats the case then in another 3900 years i honestly expect games to physically (with the use of virtual reality goggles i suppose) put me inside something that looks (and feels) like Tron.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 9:19:09 AM

You're going to be alive 3,900 years from now?

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Temjin001
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 9:29:42 AM

He probably meant 390 years, World. A ripe old age =p

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 9:49:48 AM

My guess is he meant 30. :)

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duomaxwell007
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 10:41:52 AM

lmao yeah i meant 30 wow how did I get an extra TWO numbers in there -_-

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Underdog15
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 1:45:18 PM

If the world ends in 3900 years, you'd better be alive still too, world!

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Axe99
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 5:25:12 PM
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Well said Socrates :). We might find games having an asymptotic level of development, rather than continued leaps and bounds, a bit like cinema (which improved hugely up until not too long ago, but with CG pretty much mastered, they can now do almost anything they like on a screen, and have been practising it for a decade or so now).

That said - there's a lot more complexity and depth to gaming given it's interactive, so even once the visuals get to real-time HD 'can't tell the difference from reality' (which I'm tipping is a ways off yet ;)), there's all the questions about how we interact. Do we read eye movements? Read brainwaves directly? Will we be able to game in our sleep (imagine if we could game in a dream, or dream in a game)?

Of course, if I think a mouse/kb is unrealistic and oversimplified for shooters, just wait until I have to contend with PC gamers aiming and shooting at the speed of thought and telling me how realistic and hardcore it is ;).

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GGCAN
Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 5:49:46 PM
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I remember Pong, Pac man, all the arcade games and pinball machines.

Had an Intellivision back then too and loved that thing !

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Robochic
Saturday, July 07, 2012 @ 9:21:33 AM
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My Dad finds it amazing when we show him the video games he's like WOW, he remembers play pong and space invaders on the atari lol

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