Video Games Essay

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Video Games

I. The Video or Computer Game Industry

The now multi-billion dollar video game industry starting slowly. In 1972, Atari developed Pong, a simple tennis-like game played on the television screen. Pongwas followed by Space Invadersin 1978 (Griffiths 223). Since then, thousands of games are available over the Internet, on CDROM for personal computers, hand-held units, and television console units like Playstation, Nintento, and Sega. Further, the market has developed beyond just entertainment, now providing educational games that make learning fun. Commercially successful titles sell around 350,000 copies and a few go beyond sales of one million units (Sanchez-Crespo Dalmau 3). Top selling games like Myst (for PCs)
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Graphics images that are used repeatedly for the current game level or environment are stored in ROM (Read Only Memory) (Perry and Wallich 251). For instance, when the player advances to another level or chooses a new environment, a new set of bit-mapped images is loaded into ROM. RAM (Random Access Memory) is used to store bit-mapped graphics, statistics such as score, and a “scratchpad” for keeping track of “where the player and [virtual] opponents are in the simulated environment, or generating new, random obstacles” to challenge the player (251). Parameters, such as choice of character the user will play, vehicle, environment (setting or location, such as track, building, open area) and current location within the environment, weapons, opponent, and mission, are stored in RAM until the player either saves or saves to a file upon exiting the game. In either case, the parameters can be recalled by the user within a game session or upon reinitialization of the game, by selecting the game file name under which they are stored (which has a game file extension specific to the game).

Once game play commences, the player undertakes challenges in order to advance. Typically, players are rewarded with points or advancement to more difficult or different levels missions in a serial game. Challenges can take the shape of puzzles, tactical, simulated

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