Video Games: Good or Bad

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Video Games: Good or Bad

In 1949, a young engineer named Ralph Baer was given an assignment to build a television set. He wasn't supposed to build just any television set, but one that would be the absolute best of all televisions. This was not a problem for Baer, but he wanted to go beyond his original assignment and incorporate some kind of game into the set. He didn't know exactly what kind of game he had in mind, but it didn't really matter because his managers nixed the idea. It would take another 18 years for his idea to become a reality, and by that time there would be other people to share in the glory, like Willy Higinbotham, who designed an interactive tennis game played on an oscilloscope, and Steve Russell, who programmed a rudimentary space game on a DEC PDP-1 mainframe computer. And then there was also Nolan Bushnell, who played that space game and dreamed of a time when fairground midways would be filled with games powered by computers.

Today, with interest in classic games gaining steam once again, players of video games are reminded of the rich history of the industry. Crave's Asteroids 64 is a modern version of a game that came out in 1979. And the original Asteroids was merely an updated version of Nolan Bushnell's Computer Space, which was really a jazzed-up copy of Steve Russell's Spacewar. Space Invaders, Centipede, Frogger, and Pong are once again on store shelves, and Pong is but a polished variant of the game Willie Higinbotham displayed on his oscilloscope.

The history of video games is not just about people. It's also about companies and ironies. Atari was an American company with a Japanese name, and the Japanese company Sega was started by an American. Magnavox, the company that started it all, is owned by Phillips, a company that is over a century old, and Nintendo, the company that made video games popular again, is just as old. And who would have ever thought Sony, the company that invented all types of electronics, from transistor radios to video recorders, would release a video game console that would become its top-selling product of all time?

A sniper perched high in a eagle’s nest zooms in through his scope to the head of his enemy, pulls the trigger, the enemy falls to the ground headless. This is a image that is common in the world of war, and now in the world of video games. Teens all over the world have become completely addicted to first person fighting games. With technology as great as it is today game makers are able to designed games that are so real it is truly scary.

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 Millions of teens ( mostly male) play games in which they walk around various levels picking up weapons and killing ruthlessly their opponent. In the same day, we have teens walking around schools killing classmates ruthlessly. As an avid video game player I admit I have played many of the “shoot’em up” games. I completely agree that these games are fun and tend to feed the male ego. I also have played games that are too violent. Games wherein enemies bleed everywhere and almost nonstop. Games that you can see the opponent’s facial expression before your shoot them between ...

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