Computer Video Games

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Sun Jan 14 2001 - 17:32:33 MST

Near the end of the last millenium, television was invented and
distributed to the masses. Over the course of the last century or so,
motion picture and video technology has gone from novelty to silent
movies to HDTV with six-channel audio output.

About halfway through that, modern computers were invented. Probably
among the first computer programs were recreations, or rather,

Video games or interactive video became available to consumers about 25
years ago. The first video computer games, or video games, were for
example the paddle-based simple tennis game Pong and soon afterwards the
Atari computers. These saw the explosion on the mid-80's of the use of
personal computers, where users could write their own game and many
seriously complex games were made.

In the early 90's, console units like the Sega, Nintendo, and Sony
devices were intriduced, and since then many games are played on them.
In that time in the personal computer segment, the games went from those
like Tetris in the late 80's and early 90's to very sophisticated RPGs
and action soon later, and the first regular 3D games.

Non-interactive video has for many years has seen the investment due it
as it's art. As well, interactive video entertainment has seen more
recent influxes of basically the entertainment dollar.

It's one thing to to note that many of today's video games for the
personal computer are violent or depict violence. That's the market,
telling us that those are the titles that sell. Perhaps that's because
the audience is mostly male. For example, there are approx. 80,000
users of the Red Alert 2 online interactive game since it's introduction
two months ago who actually play the game against other live people over
the Internet.. It's a combat simulation game, a "real-time strategy"
game. Currently, I actually play the game myself enough to have a rank
of about 400, as they keep a massive ladder of all the battles. From
sampling conversation, I think most of the people that play are five
years younger than me, and some older and younger.

So it got me thinking about video games and how much time and money I've
ever spent playing video games. Here's one, what rewards are in video
games? To some extent becoming skilled increases eye-hand (or
eye-mouse) coordination in action games, in logical games, logical
ability, and in repetitive games, regularity. To a large extent
becoming skilled at playing video games allows you to play more video
games, that is true for most fields.

In terms of software interface design, we could determine what the game
skills are, and then present complex interfaces to real world items in
terms of learned game metaphor. For example, a manufacturing process
might be automated, but volatile. In the event of the requirement of
human interaction, perhaps among the most efficient ways are these
learned video game behaviors.

So I write about computer interactivity.


Ross Andrew Finlayson
Finlayson Consulting
Ross at Tiki-Lounge:
"The best mathematician in the world is Maplev in Ontario."  - Pertti L.

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