Monday 23 December 2013

Electronic Games

Ever since PONG, I considered myself a gamer at heart. From being an early fan of Nolan Bushnell's Atari (who produced PONG) and the actual game designer Allan Alcom, to the arcades of the '80s, my life was forever altered to subscribe to the digital vector of electronic entertainment. It used to take real committment to search out games you wanted to play. They were few and far between back then. Some arcades required membership. Others were very crowded and you had to wait your turn. Then when you finally dropped in your quarter you could relax and play for a while if you were good. Not everyone will remember there was a war going on back then between "vector display" and "raster display" (one of the main differences between games like Asteroids and Defender and bitmap sprite games like Galaxian and Donkey Kong).

Back then, the business and marketing people said there was no future in home game systems. Maybe those are the guys who brought our world economy to its knees. What a bunch of knuckleheads. They obviously had no clue. Mind you, the early systems like Commodore, Intellivision as well as early Nintendo and Sega were not good indicators of what was coming. Today, games have surpassed music and movie sales for home entertainment. They are the number one home entertainment medium.

In the late '80s and early '909s the computer totally shifted electronic entertainment away from arcades and consoles with great CD-ROM titles like Journeyman Project, Seventh Guest and MYST, but once we got into the mid '90s, the consoles came back with a vengeance. It has remained there ever since. This year's PS4 and Xbox One are actually considered 8th Generation consoles. One of the great TV shows to keep you informed of what is going on is called Reviews on the Run on G4. I still watch them faithfully even though I don't keep up and buy all the latest games anymore.

Perhaps that also has to do with the kind of games I like to play. I'm not into the violent war and crime stuff. I've always been more of a fan of quiet, thinking puzzle games. That's what the Jewels games were. The latest out this year is Quell Memento from Fallen Tree Games. with over 150 brilliant puzzles, you can take your time and re-play or retry as often as you like until you get it perfect. The game is easy to find and is available for mobile devices as an app and even on the Sony VITA.

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