History of Video
Game Consoles

Course Overview

Learn the History of Video Game Consoles

Over the past 30 years, video games have become an integral part of our culture, and the video game industry has become a multi-billion dollar behemoth. Follow the journey of video games from university laboratories to our living rooms.

With current generations raised on the lightning-fast processing speeds and crystal clear graphics of Xboxes and PlayStations (and with the tide of virtual reality-based video games fast approaching), its easy to forget that just 50 years ago, digital gaming existed in only a few laboratories around the world, the experiments of unknown Ph.D. students or well-known scientists and mathematicians who’d made their name in more traditional fields.

Today, video games are an entrenched part of our cultures and routines. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 59% of Americans played video games in 2013. That same year, consumers spent $21.5 billion on video games, the association reported.

Gamers today aren’t only packs of teenage boys, either. The average American game player is 31 years old and 48 percent of all American gamers are women, the ESA reports.

From the laboratory to arcades and, later, onto shelves and into the cloud, video games have rapidly and radically evolved in the past half century. Here’s a peek back at how it all happened and a glimpse of what’s to come.

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