Now we see thousands of people playing online games like tetris, ping pong, mario bros, super mario etc for free but despite its history dating back to the 1970s, for most people online gaming started with the explosion of The Internet in 1993 and with the advent of Doom and Warcraft in 1994 or 1995. This got a further impetus with publishers starting to add Internet connectivity to computer games in 1994-95.
In fact, the media themselves ignored the history of online games. As far as they are concerned, online games happened randomly when their advertisers started producing internet compatible games. But is not so …
Early years of development
In the early 1950s a college student created a game very similar to Tic-Tac-Toe for a class project to be played on dinosaur computers of those days complete with cathode ray tubes for screen viewing. In the 1960s, MIT students programmed a game called “Space War” that could be played with two people on a primitive network. The late 1960s brought the first “real” video games such as table tennis and shooters.
1970s: the game begins
The serious online game started with the first interactive online game called ADVENT. Indeed, online gaming was conceptualized with ADVENT. Online games have made users play against each other in an online fantasy world. The first online game was called Mazewar, a game involving networked players traveling through a maze and trying to kill each other.w88
Then came interpersonal interaction in a multi-player environment. The first of these games was called DUNGEN. DUNGEN made players compete against each other to complete a series of missions. DUNGEN provided new settings and new players every time the user logged in.
The late 1970s saw the start of the video game craze with more and more families becoming familiar with computers. As a natural corollary, people started writing their own games for home computers. These programming enthusiasts traded and sold these homegrown games in local markets.
Other changes in the 1970s were home game consoles that used game cartridges. This meant that people could collect game cartridges for a base unit instead of having bulky game console systems.
The 1980s: a break before the storm
The 1980s saw a growing craze for the video and computer game craze, but online gaming was not yet on the horizon. New games with better sound and graphics have been introduced and have gained popularity. Pole Position and Pac-man were two that achieved great popularity. It was during the 1980s when Nintendo introduced its first gaming system.
1990s: the revolution begins
The 1990s saw phenomenal growth in both popularity and technology, mainly due to the rise of 3-D and multimedia.
Myst, the intellectual adventure game introduced games in CD-ROM format. More elaborate 3-D graphics hardware made FPS (first person shooter) games like Quake possible.