Video Games

Expository Essay

One of the biggest differences between entertainment option for today’s kids and the kids of other generations is the fact of exceedingly enormous amounts of video games. This generation has a huge selection of entertainment available through video gaming. This research paper will look at some of the important historical things that happened to bring video games to the place they are today. It is interesting to learn about the first video game, the first console for video games and what was the first network multiplayer video game. Gaming on all kinds of devices, enjoying high resolution graphics, using high speed connections is “normal” for today’s kids, but it is actually a relatively new thing.


So when did it begin? The first video game was created by William Higinbotham, but it was only able to be used by a Brookhaven National Laboratory oscilloscope. The game was called "Tennis for Two". Four years later in 1962, the first computer based game came out for the public and it was called “SpaceWar!”. Since computers were more used by a regular person than Brookhaven National Laboratory oscilloscope, it is technically the first video game. This was a small beginning because computers were rare and personal computers hadn’t been invented yet.


Before any of the personal computing systems were available, the first video game console was invented in 1976 by Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation. It was called "Channel F". This was a programmable microchip and the Microchip part was created by Robert Noyce. The company allowed video games to not be limited by the number of TTL switched. TTL was the technology that was used for a computer’s CPU (central processing unit) before microprocessor chips were invented. The microprocessor chip became available in the late 1970’s and things began to change very quickly.


The first networked multiplayer game was called Spectre. It was a tank game that people could play over an Appletalk network. It also became available on the PC and Super Nintendo gaming systems. It was the first network enabled multi-player local area network game. Also, it was one of the first games to have players move around in an arena instead of a flat 2D rolling landscape, like most arcade games did at the time. My parents and two of my Dad’s friends wrote Spectre in 1989-1990. It sold over 500,000 copies and people still talk about how they can not wait to play Spectre again because it had been a long time since they had last played. Spectre was updated and made available to the iphone and ipad systems in 2011. It has been a classic for a long time.


While past generations were often limited to the entertainment that was found in books, this generation of kids has a wide variety of video games at their fingertips. With technology changing at the speed of light, new things are possible all the time. Like the novel The Hobbit, most of the greatest video games are built around themes of light and darkness or epic battles between good and evil. In those adventures, there are many hours of entertainment just waiting for today’s kids.

Poem - Tech Talk

Bit, byte

Pick your fight.


LAN, WAN

Choose a clan.


Megabyte to gigabytes

Players know their rights.


Super Nintendo to Playstation 3

Monthly subscription or play-for-free.


Fixed arcarde to Augmented Reality

No one can defeat me.


2D arenas or side scrolling

Out there to earn my character some bling.


Joystick to wireless controller

Pressing to Game Over!

Narrative Essay: Video Games in my Family

Video games have played an important role in the lives of my mom, my dad and me. (Need to expand my introduction.)


During nights and weekends during 1989 and 1990, my dad and mom and two of their friends created the game called “Spectre”. It was the first networked, multi user, 3D video game for the Apple talk network. It was a big hit! Over the next couple of years, it won a bunch of awards and eventually sold 500,000 copies. That meant that my parents got royalty payments from the sales of the game. During 1992, my older sister was born. At this time, my mom was 30 years old and was a director at a fortune 500 software company. When my sister was almost one year old, my mom decided to quit her job and become a stay home mom. I’ve heard her say that she was paying a 22 year old girl to do what she had dreamed of doing her whole life, raising a child. The royalties from the game, “Spectre”, made it possible for my parents to cut back to just my dad’s income and for my mom to retire and stay home full time with my sister and then eventually for all of us.


My dad has worked with video games for more than twenty years now. He was the first Apple Computer games evangelist, where he had to convince game developers to write games to take advantage of the newest Apple hardware. He was the main designer behind the game “Spectre”. He has contributed to the creation of __ games and has thank you credits in ___ games. He is still involved in games, but is focused on the business intelligence and analytics part of it. The last few years he helped to launch “Star Wars, The Old Republic”, which was the largest ever massively multiplayer online game published by Electronic Arts. Now days, he is the head of global business intelligence for Wargaming.net. They are an international company based out of Minsk, Belarus that has role playing games using tanks, planes and warships. Dad uses analytics of the game data to help the company be more successful.


Video games have been an important part of my life since I started learning to read and type. When I was really small, my parents encouraged me play Reader Rabbit educational software on an iMac. I pretty much finished learning to read trying to play the game called “Ratchet and Clank”. The online space adventure game called “Earth and Beyond” really helped me improve my typing skills. Two games that I have really enjoyed because of the chance to build my own detailed worlds are “Little Big Planet” and “Minecraft”. Lots of other games have been valuable to me because they are fun to do with friends that come over to my house. On rainy days, we’ve used “Dance, Dance Revolution” to get some exercise and have fun. Some of the best games for hanging out with my friends include “Call of Duty”, “Smash Bros”, “Guitar Hero” and “League of Legends”. For me, video games are a creative outlet and a place for me to connect with friends around the globe. I am also hoping that I can learn to program during high school and start to write my own mods or games. One of my dad’s programmer friends has even offered to mentor me which will be absolutely awesome.


Lots of people talk about video games being a waste of time, but in my family its important business! Video games have provided lots of entertainment for us and our guests but they have also provided income and jobs for our family. Video games have helped the kids in our family learn to read faster and to type. So we all know that balance is important. However, sometimes we struggle with our parents over the amount of time we’re allowed to spend on games. In the end, video games have served our family well.

Websites Citation

App Modo. Press Releases, n.d. Web. 25 May 2013. <http://appmodo.com/49578/spectre-3d-updated-with-universal-and-game-center-support/>.


Computer and Video Game History. About.com, n.d. Web. 10 May 2013. <http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blcomputer_videogames.htm>.