Video games are probably one of the most common forms of interactive entertainment nowadays. Few people haven’t played on the Xbox, the Playstation or the Nintendo Wii, and even fewer haven’t heard of any of them.
The video game is actually the natural next stage of the arcade game. Because whilst the arcade game per definition consists of a monitor and some way to control what is happening on it (be it a joystick, a steering wheel, a pad or even a gun) stuck together in the same box, the video game offers a lot more freedom by enabling it to connect to any TV or monitor you want.
As with any cultural shift, the evolution of the video game was probably, at least in some countries more similar to a revolution. In Sweden, parents were horrified of the extreme violence found in the video games of the late eighties and early nineties (had they only known what was coming?). Many blamed video watching and video games for the destruction of an entire generation, something we now know is of course untrue.
And yes, video games have become more violent in their nature over the years, but they have also become more advanced, more player friendly and more interactive. Complex stories are now being played to the gamer, and long cinematic parts are included in most games, even the more action oriented ones.
Today, nearly all video games are released on several platforms. A platform, to begin with, is for instance the Xbox, or the Playstation, but can also be a PC or a Mac. Basically, any system that can be used to play a game on is a potential gaming platform.
To maximize the revenue of today’s releases, companies tend to put their games out on almost any platform they can. Most common is to publish the game on PS, Xbox and PC, since those three platforms hold a majority of the market. Nintendo completely controls their platform Wii and create their own games for it (Super Mario for instance) which has made them incredibly successful. Controlling both the game and the platform is a surefire way to make money.
A war on Piracy
Did I say surefire? Well, maybe not quite. Piracy is becoming more and more of an issue even in this industry. PC game developers have been battling it for years, and in more recent years, we’ve also seen a surge when it comes to video game piracy. It’s a short term gain causing long term damage to the industry ? Who wants to develop a video game when they do not get paid for it? Therefor I always recommend you buy your games, not copy them.