Before the heroics of Super Mario and Lara Croft captured our imaginations, video games were primarily used on an academic basis.
In the 1950s, scientists built the first video games as instructional tools or to demonstrate the capabilities of new technologies. Academics tested out rudimentary forms of artificial intelligence on games like tic-tac-toe or chess, while showcasing their findings to the public at events like the Canadian National Exhibition or the Festival of Britain. It wasn’t until the incorporation of newly-invented technologies like transistors or random access memory (RAM) that the cost and size of these computers went down.
By the 1970s, video games were ready for prime time commercialization. The first arcades were opened, compelling games started to hit the market, and tactile features like joysticks made them accessible even to the most basic user.
The rest is history – and the total market for gaming is now worth close to $100 billion today.
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