One of the first games to invented and classified as a video game as we know it was invented in the early 70’s and famously named Pong. It was manipulated by two circular dials and first housed in a cabinet the size of a pinball machine. This game was wildly successful and arguably triggered the massive influx of video gaming’s popularity since.
In the late 70‘s and early 80‘s, the next step video games took was a move from the arcade to the home. With more families buying personal television sets, moving to the home was simply a matter of making them small enough to carry and affordable for most households. Games were able to be transferred to hardcoded cartridges and became much more accessible. At the same time the arcade game industry was booming. The most popular of these was Space Invaders which, in its first 3 years, generated $1 billion (with a ‘B’) from 4 billion quarters.
In 1985, Nintendo’s famous Nintendo Entertainment System was released and revived the market for video games following the crash in ’83. This system came bundled made popular the Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda series’ as well as a number of others. This was also one of the first implementations of what we would easily recognize as a modern controller rather than a set of knobs or a joystick.
Finally, video games today have evolved from the arcades to become something ubiquitous to many different kinds of people. Today, 90% of boys and 40% of girls play video games of one sort. Also, games have found their way into many different media. You can play the same games on your home computer, your game console connected to your TV, your portable gaming device such as a PSP, or even your cell phone. Publishers are releasing the same titles on many different platforms making them incredibly accessible for all sorts of people. They have evolved from giant cabinets to fitting in your pocket.