You would think that a programmer, whether self-taught or formally educated in Computer Science, would either master pretty much any game they lay their hands on or they would probably refrain from playing games at all, considering how much of an understanding they have about all the code behind what the ordinary consumer sees. That’s not the case though, for if a game is developed properly then even the game developers themselves would have a real challenge trying to “finish” it!
That brings to light the evolution of gaming, which is a particularly interesting topic to explore because it exposes the very essence of gaming; to have a bit of harmless fun in a manner which challenges your mind.
The earliest days
You should count yourself lucky if you’ve experienced what gaming was like in the late 80s and through the very early nineties, because then you will know just how far the industry has come since then. More importantly, the industry evolved in leaps and bounds through the nineties, but the earliest days of gaming would make you laugh these days if you saw what it was like!
Hey, they had like 4k of memory to work with (that’s 4 kilobytes) in some instances, so it’s funny now, but was quite the achievement then being able to play what vaguely looks like a game on a monotone screen! I particularly remember a Microsoft game about an alley cat or something like that, where the “graphics” were a bit better and there was some purple cheese – something to do with where the mice hid…
Graphical sophistication & the introduction of gaming in the 3-D
Speaking of graphics, things definitely exploded right through the nineties and through the millennium to where we are today, in terms of the sophistication of games. Games which resembled a 3-dimensional environment and offered 3-D “movement” were somewhat of a standard, with 2-D games making for a nostalgic visit to the gaming “past.”
An improvement on the graphics of the latest release of a particular gaming franchise was pretty much a given, and for a moment it looked as if by now we would have long since had graphics that fall nothing short of being the real thing – HD graphics or something along those lines.
Emulation of the real world vs. creative engagement of the imagination
It appears as if there is a general effort to keep gaming graphics looking like video gaming graphics instead of making everything look truly real, with more of an emphasis on games that emulate the real world as closely as they possibly can and on the other side of the fence, games that engage the imagination and take us on a journey through the creative minds of the developers.
Coming full-circle and gaming with a “purpose”
Nowadays since we’re spoilt for choice it appears as if we’re truly exercising that choice. Gaming has come full-circle with many top franchises representing nothing more than some box-shaped graphics where the emphasis is more on what the game can do as opposed to how it looks.
Don’t get me started on the in-game purchases of upgrades, better weapons, tools, etc.