Electronic games, also called video games, generally consist of a user interface that allows playful human interaction, with a video device that generates visual feedback.
The word “video”, in a video game, generally refers to a raster display device. This term was then popularized and now it is used to designate any type of display.
Computer devices of a video game
To be able to play video games, one has to use electronic systems which are also called platforms. At the beginning, desktops, game consoles and arcades were the main platforms. Later, mobile phones, smartphones, as well as touch tablets, in turn became suitable media for video games.
- Input devices
To be able to act on the game and perceive the consequences of his actions on a virtual environment, the video game player must also have peripherals.
Depending on the platform, a game controller is used as an input device. So a controller can be a joystick and a single button. Today’s modern computer games require the simultaneous use of a keyboard and a mouse. This keyboard / mouse pair is one of the most widely used peripherals.
To enhance the experience of some games, dedicated controllers can be used. For example, in the case of racing or flight simulator games, joysticks and steering wheels come into play, without being essential.
- Output devices
The image and the sound make it possible to restore the information of the video games. It is mainly from the existing material that the display is made. For home consoles, television or computer monitors provide this function by means of a video output. External speakers or an audio output to an external amplification device guarantee the sound reproduction of the game.
New peripherals, like the EyeToy on PlayStation, have appeared quite recently, making it possible virtual reality games, as well as augmented reality games, such as “EyePet “.
The appearance of the Kinect and the PlayStation Move in 2010 made it possible to deepen the notion of virtual reality in video games.
As for virtual reality devices, they have developed with the appearance of the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus.
The history of video games
It can be said that the history of video games began around 1950 with the idea of Ralph Baer. The year 1952 saw the realization of the game OXO, followed in 1958 by Tennis for Two by William Higinbotham. But the most commonly accepted year for the launch of the video game is that of 1962, with the release of SpaceWar.
Anyway, it was in American universities in the 1960s that video games first saw the light of day. It was widely marketed in the 1970s.
However, the first catchy and addicting enough game came out in 1972. It was Pong, whose gameplay was a huge hit with the general public.
It is this game that has served as a launching pad for the video game industry, which has experienced explosive growth in the United States.
Because of the glut of low-quality games, compounded by the lack of mastery of console builders, however, the American video game suffered an unprecedented crisis in 1983.
Since this year, the video game industry has migrated to Japan. In this country, thanks to Nintendo’s NES and the game Super Mario Bros, it experienced a new renaissance. A new philosophy in the design of video games that are richer and open to all audiences has emerged.
Video games and the Japanese
In Japan, everyone, regardless of age and gender, plays video games. In this country, it is not uncommon to see employees playing on their cellphones when they take the train to work. Likewise, we can also see children meeting in a park to play with their console.
A wide variety of game types characterize Japanese games. We can distinguish among others, board games, puzzle games, popular games or simulation games.
In the land of sushi and sake, some games are used to convey practical information in everyday life. Other games, like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, have artistic aspects that attract attention, while others are distinguished by the music and the finesse of the story.
As for games on smartphones and tablets, they are all the rage in Japan. A recent study showed that around 60% of people who use smartphones play on their cellphones.
Why are the Japanese so keen on video games?
In the land of the rising sun, it is hardware that drives software. In other words, it is the console that, as a product, is the spring and turns the video game industry. Consoles are very common there and very popular because they are of very good quality.
To be able to play, having a console at your disposal on one side is essential. On the other hand, there is a profusion of software just waiting to be used. There is therefore an emulation between software design and production of consoles.
For the record, know that in the years 1970 – 80 the Japanese archipelago was among the major producers of semiconductors. The country was thus known as the “Electric Nation”, and massively produced semiconductors meeting the required standards and specifications. Japan then became a benchmark in video games because from a semiconductor to a game console, the path is clear.
Despite the fact that the video game industry originated in Uncle Sam’s country, it was in Japan that it developed the most. Indeed, Nintendo and Sony, as well as Sega and Konami, not to mention Namco, Bandaï and Capcom, are all undisputed world leaders in the field.
How did Japan become the world number one in video games?
The Japanese have established themselves globally in video games, thanks to their culture. Indeed, as in the case of “Haiku”, this art of Japanese gardens, they created a richly imaginative and minimalist culture. Unlike total Walt Disney-style animation, the concept of limited animation has allowed Japanese animation to gain a foothold around the world.
A reconciliation can be made with the musical theme of the game Dragon Quest which was composed in 1986 by Sugiyama Kôichi. Ultimately, this theme is only based on three chords. Yet after more than 20 years, he remains as famous as ever. This is for example the case of Ukiyo-e which, thanks to the liveliness of its colors, the simplicity and dynamism of its composition, as well as the richness of its expression, has amazed art lovers the world over.
Thus, the main goal of Japanese culture is to produce a maximum of emotions with a minimum of resources, and ingenious staging. This goal is the key to this global success in video games.