Entertainment

Gaming Then And Now: Key Differences

There are plenty of differences between how things used to be and how they are today. But it’s easier to see these differences in some areas more than in others. Take gaming, for example. Today, it’s a multibillion-dollar industry that spans more or less all corners of the globe, but it wasn’t so long ago that it was a new form of entertainment. While some things stay the same — the basic principle of gaming has not shifted, for example — there are plenty of differences, more so than within other industries. Here, we’ll take a look at how the present-day gaming climate contrasts with the old.

Then: A Physically Shared Experience

Gaming has always been social. While the emergence of home computing systems brought the activity into a private space (rather than, for example, the arcade), it didn’t turn it into an individual experience. The early days of gaming saw friends gathering in a person’s house to use the system’s multiplayer feature. Players still played games by themselves, but the most fun was had when people were sharing the same physical space together.

Now: A Digitally Shared Experience

If someone from the past saw a snapshot of how people game today, they could well believe that the social factor of gaming has been lost forever. But that’s not the case, and it’s all thanks to the internet. Thanks to the web, gaming is more social than it was in the past, not less. It’s just that instead of sharing a physical space to play the same game, gamers share a digital space. This has greatly enhanced the social aspect of gaming, because not only can people play with friends that live far away, but they can also play with strangers. Many lifelong friendships have been born purely thanks to online gaming.

Then: Games Were (Largely) Inaccessible

If you speak to people who were gaming in the 1990s and ask them what games they were playing then, they’ll likely list only a few titles. This isn’t because they were in love with those titles and could not bring themselves to play anything else; it’s because they simply didn’t have access to other games. Back then, all games came on a physical item (a disc, a cartridge), and they weren’t cheap. You had to be relatively confident that you were going to enjoy a game before you gave it a try.

Now: Easy to Try New Games

Games are much more accessible today. For one thing, you don’t need to have a physical copy of the game. Any game worth playing can be downloaded from the internet. Second, it’s just easier — and cheaper — to explore new games. There are free trials that allow you to try out obscure titles and plenty of online platforms also offer casino bonuses so that people can try the latest slot games risk-free and to give players a sense of the game while spending quite less. This all helps to foster an environment where gamers are more willing to try new games, and the industry as a whole benefits from that.

Then: Relatively Simple Games

It’s important to remember that gaming was an entirely new medium back in the 70s and 80s. It was the invention of an entirely new genre of entertainment. As such, the games were pretty basic. That’s not a criticism — just a reflection of where the industry was at the time. Pong was groundbreaking

, but it’s also about as simple a game as it can be. What it did do, however, was get the gaming ball rolling.

Now: A New Art

Today, video games have reached entirely new levels of artistic merit. Featuring stunning graphics, complex storylines, and beautiful soundtracks, they’re up there with anything that the movie and music industries can create, even if they don’t quite get the same respect as those two. But the way things are going, it won’t be long until they do.