The Impact Of Video Games On American Culture

3088 words - 12 pages

Video games are advanced, hands on form of entertainment that have been played for the past fifty-five years. The number of users of video games has dramatically increased over the past five decades, which has immensely impacted American society through numerous positive and negative aspects.
Video games have emerged as one of the most popular forms of entertainment and have severely improved in quality on account of technological advancements. The very first video game ever created was by a man named Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. The console was actually a device used in science called a Cathode ray tube. “The ray tube was inspired by radar display technology and consisted of a device that allowed the user to control a small vector-drawn dot on the screen. It simulated missiles fired at targets, which were simply drawn on the screen” (Welcome to Pong-Story).
In 1968, Ralph Baer invented the first publicly played home video game console. He referred to the console as “Brown Box.” Brown Box played multiple games but the most popular games were ball and paddle games, and target shooting games. Baer pitched his invention to several television manufacturers and later signed a contract with Magnavox in 1971. After renaming Brown Box to Odyssey, Magnavox released the first home video game to the public in 1972. In that same year, Atari released the first arcade game, called PONG. The inventors of PONG planed to license their product to companies capable of producing large amounts; but after realizing the enormous potential behind their product, decided to sell the system themselves. They tested PONG out at a bar named Andy Capps and had huge success. In November of 1972, PONG started rolling of the assembly line. According to Nolan Bushnell, inventor of PONG, 38,000 PONG’S were built and sold.
The majority of video game players has highly diversified in the past 15 years as a result of a continuous increasing number of female players. In fact, “over 40 percent of all gamers are female” (Video Game Industry Statistics). Today, video games have become a very popular means of entertainment with “over sixty-seven percent of households owning at least one type of gaming console (Video Game Industry Statistics). Video game sales are a huge factor in deciding entertainment revenue. This enormous video game market brought in “over ten and a half billion dollars of revenue in 2009 alone; while the film industry brought in $9.87 billion (Video Game Industry Statistics).
Video games are a very controversial discussion topic because many people believe them to be accompanied with numerous negative and harmful effects on users, mainly children. Although they are designed to be entertaining, challenging, and sometimes educational, most include violent content. The main reason video games are speculated to be harmful, is because they are believed to increase the level of aggression and violent tendencies. Often, after times of violent behavior, parents, government...

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