Video Games: History, Benefits, Varieties, and Costs.

big business

“We’re huge and we are worldwide.”

Video gaming is big business and it is here to stay. It is part of our American culture, especially, with people who grew up with them. Video games have been part of our lives for decades. Video games can enhance people’s lives of any age, especially, older folks like myself (I am sixty-one).

I hope this website helps people understand how video games for adults and kids can be helpful, informative, educational, improve our minds and bodies, or just have some plain fun.

VR

I’m the game, how cool is this?

New studies are also showing the benefits for kids and older adults as well. Video games for seniors can be very helpful as we age. For kids, video games can be a useful learning tool if properly applied.

I want to explore the evolution of video games. I will examine how the various usages of video games can affect our lives, both in positive ways and negative ways.

We will not only look at usages but also look at the benefits of video gaming. I will explore how they affect our minds, our bodies, and other areas of our lives.

There is an amazing variety of games today, as well as different consoles or computers. Gamers have total control over what they want to play or purchase.

Also, we need to look at the money side, especially for people on a limited income (Kids and grandparents). We’ll examine the costs and the requirements to have a pleasurable and fun experience without breaking the bank.

path

The journey begins, grab your controller!

So I hope you enjoy this journey with me. I want to do everything I can to make this website the very best. May I grow as it grows. Thank you very much, Grandpa Johnny, the Gray Wolf.

History of Video Games

Video gaming started while I was still playing with a rattler.

I was born in 1956. The history of video gaming dates back as far as the early 1950s.

One of the early games was Spacewar. It was developed by a group of computer scientists as part of their research.

Video gaming became very popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Video arcade games, home gaming consoles, and advancement in computer gaming became a major form of our entertainment and part of our cultural fabric.

In the 1970s, first-generation consoles introduced a game called “Pong”. It was originally manufactured by Atari. It was first introduced in 1972. This was my first experience with video games. I loved it.

A party favorite!!!

Companies like Atari, Apple, and Intellivision were pioneers in the gaming industry. People were able to play on their home TVs. No more saving every quarter you could get your hands on and hang out at the local 7-11 for hours.

In the 1980s, Nintendo released a hand-held portable gaming system called Game & Watch. Video games were now mobile.

Around 1983 third generation consoles (8-bit), Nintendo and Sega, hit the scene. In 1987, (16-bit) fourth generation consoles arrived. Graphics got better and more realistic.

In the 1990s, innovations in video games changed the industry. 3D graphics created drastic changes in game designing. Handheld gaming changed were we play. We no longer had to be in front of our TVs or computers. New genres arose like first-person shooters, real-time strategy, and MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online).

Video gaming graphics continue to improve with 32 and 64-bit consoles (1993-2005) with Sony and Microsoft getting in “The game” (Ha Ha).

Fast forward to today, we are now playing eighth generation consoles. Fierce competition between the big three, (Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony) and PCs continue to improve our gaming experience.

Video gaming has come a long way. The future is very interesting, especially, with virtual reality games in its infant stages. A VR gaming system is definitely on my wish list. (Santa, I will be good)

I am so excited. Please join me on this exciting adventure with an old kid who still loves playing video games. “May the Force be with us”. Let’s go “Gaming with Grandpa”.

Usages/Benefits of Video Games.

Playing games while exercising, I like that!

Healthcare:

It can be part of a doctor’s surgical training. It helps the patient be more adherent to treatment regimens.

They are part of education for medical students, doctors, and patients.

Video game simulators can be tailor-made for different diseases or injuries, which can only help with the quality of one’s life.

This is fun!

Positive Effects of Video Games on Children:

Critical thinking increases. Problem-solving improves.

Gaming helps with social development according to a study by Psych Central. People from any part of the world can work together with others to solve tasks and go on different quests.

Video games are highly motivating for children with autism. They provide stress-free opportunities for successful learning.

educational game for kids

Learning can be fun!

Educational:

MOMS and DADS, your kids can make a living from their PASSION!!!!!!

Not all video games are mindless. Educational games are becoming a motivational tool in the classrooms.

Children can learn math, basic grammar, anticipate movements, and improve spacial-relationship skills as a result of video games.

Hand-eye Coordination:

hand and eye

Push the x button grandma!

Playing sports is not the only way to improve hand-eye coordination. At Deakin University in Australia, researchers found kids who play interactive video games have better motor skills than kids who don’t play them.

Even skills such as kicking, catching or throwing a ball can improve in children who play video games.

Emotional Outlet: 

Venting frustration or anger in a game may help diffuse stress or pressure, especially in kids who are not into football or other aggressive sports.

Both violent and non-violent games can have a relaxing, almost meditating effect on children.

stressed

I’m CALM!

Most adults need stress-relieves as well. Instead of smacking our neighbor or co-worker, just pop in a copy of “Mortal Kombat” and start opening a can of whoop-ass on your virtual enemy.

Not just for Kids, Grandparents:

All these positives effects of video gaming for children can also apply to older adults who play video games.

In addition, video games can bring grandparents and grandkids together. Having fun with my granddaughter, Sierra are some of the most enjoyable moments. She kicks my butt most of the time, but we always have fun.

 Varieties of Consoles/PC and Games.

Consoles/PC:

Let’s start with the big three consoles that dominate the market today (They are all good). wii 2

console

Name your system!

1. Microsoft (Xbox) offers a lot of great games. Their “Halo” franchise is still going strong in its continuing saga of intergalactic warfare.

2. Sony (PlayStation) is also a major player in the gaming industry with hits like, “God of War”, “Spiderman”, and “Horizon: Zero Dawn” (Beautiful game with mechanical dinosaurs).

3. Nintendo (Wii) has a lot of good games for kids or families. A couple of their exclusive titles include “The Legend of Zelda” and the classic, “Mario Brothers” series.

4. Most households have a computer (any brand of computer will work) of some form today. A lot of the games which are available for consoles are also playable on your home or handheld computers.

Today’s computers are very powerful and the graphics are very good. Two very popular PC games are World of Warcraft or Diablo III: Reaper of souls.

Games: 

The selection of games is massive and grows every year. You can play any sport from Olympic events to throwing the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl, or hitting the game-ending home run in the World series, or shoot the winning 3-pointer in game seven of the NBA finals.

A Lombax and a robot: A winning Combination!!!

Players can take on the identity of their favorite comic book superheroes like Batman, Superman, or Sonic the Hedgehog. You can even play the villain. The dark forces of Darth Vader await you, “My son”.

You can fly jets or WWII fighter planes. A player can drive tanks or charge into battle saddling the finest of Arabian steeds.

You can get into the driver’s seat of powerful race cars, boats, or motorcycles without the worry of dying in a fiery crash. Just hit restart.

Take on the personality of a warrior, a knight, a cartoon character, a detective, an animal, or a king building a virtual empire. The worlds to explore are unlimited and breathtaking.

“Who are you? I’m Batman!”

The gaming choices are endless. Whatever your fancy, there is probably a game for it.

The artwork in some games is worthy of display in some of the finest of museums in the world.

Stories and dialogues rival many Oscar-winning movies.

Let me quote a line from the movie, “Conan, the Barbarian” (You can play him too). “Let me take you to a time of high adventure”.

Join me, my fellow gamers and shout out our battle cry, “LET’S GET GAMING”.

Becoming a Videogamer: Cost and Requirements.

big old computers

I can’t fit this in my room!!!

Having a TV is a good start, especially, a big screen. Game characters are bigger than life on a seventy-inch, high-resolution television. But having a TV is not always a requirement for gaming because of the hand-held game systems. You can play on your phone, or your tablet, or your computer.

Pricing can vary for today’s consoles. New ones can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. Refurbished ones are available for a fraction of the full retail cost.

Pawns shops are a great place to pick up good used systems. EBay is another source for finding affordable consoles or computers. Shop around to get the best deals.

Options for getting good games is endless. New games can cost forty to sixty dollars. For me, this is still a good deal. It takes me months to finish a game (Remember, I’m not that good at my gaming). I get my money’s worth.

Show me the money!!!

Older games are usually offered at discounts (Sometimes more than half off). You can trade with friends. Pawn shops are a great way to save on games as well as consoles/PC.

Stores have great deals during the holidays, especially Christmas. The internet is also a valuable resource for finding games at good prices.

Video gaming is very affordable for everyone. Be sure to take your time, do research, or just talk to your kids or grandkids for gaming advice. They will love to help you become part of the gaming world.

Gaming with Grandpa, the Gray Wolf!

I hope this post has been helpful. I enjoyed putting it together and have learned a lot myself.

Hans Solo, I’ll do the flying!!!

Video games have grown a lot over the years. We have gone from hitting a tennis ball in “Pong” to flying the “Millennium Falcon” in Star Wars. The future of gaming is so exciting.

Benefits and usages from video games grow as we grow. Our Health, our thinking, our education, our motor skills, and our relationships will, hopefully, improve as we learn more about this expanding technology.

We can play games that were unheard years ago. The different choices of games today are endless.

Most people already have a TV, a computer, a phone, a friend or a family member who can help them get started.

Also, video gaming costs are very reasonable compared to other things in our lives.

Let’s face it, video games are not going away. They have become a huge part of our digital galaxy. So, I say, “Let’s have some fun”.

Soaring eagle

They will soar on wings like eagles!

Let’s buckle up in our virtual spaceship and explore this magical universe. Let’s soar like eagles.

20 Comments

  1. This is a very fun site! Lots to learn here. I too, grew up with video games and remember our first game of Pong, on the Atari that my dad brought home. Boy! Have games come a long way since then! Thanks for taking the time to share this with us!

    • admin

      Hi Shelli, thanks again for all your help. I took your advice and made the necessary changes to my post. I have started adding images, this is a blast to do. I am having so much fun.
      I looked at your website, iorganizeyourlife.com. Very good. Tons of helpful information. Well organized (Good idea having that part of the title). It shows you have put a lot of time and effort on your website. Good job. If had anything to say and this is just me. I was wondering if you could have contrasting pictures or videos. Maybe have images of homes, offices, or work areas in complete chaos and compare them to what they could look like by following your ideas or advice. I think that would add some humor most people could relate to in their own lives. I know I would.
      One last thing, maybe some more color or some kind of images at the top. Something to make it pop out more than the black.
      I am so new to this. I hope my comments are helpful, I know yours have been for me.
      Good luck and we will keep in touch. Let me know if I can help in any way. Johnny

  2. sharon

    Hi
    I love video games especially the platform games, i think the older generation would really enjoy playing these apart from the violent ones.
    We have a vr and they are out of this world, so real , i would deffo reccomend one:)
    You are right about the health care side of it for video games and educating medical students etc.
    I love pac man that was one of my childhood games and space invaders, brings it all back:)
    All i can say is happy gaming grandpa and hope santa gets you your vr 🙂

    • admin

      Hi Sharon, thanks for your input, very helpful and encouraging. I really feel i am on the right track with this. Thanks again for your comment. I wish you the best in all you do. johnny

  3. Kit

    I never had a gaming Grandpa. I can say you are really a cool person. My dad is 65 and he is gaming with his PS2. It is good because it keeps the mind healthy, keeps it thinking. Do you play VR too? Those equipment is so expensive. I wish I can afford them.

    • admin

      Hi Kit, as far as VR, I want to one day. I just can’t afford it yet. I hope to get one soon (Santa are you listening). Good for your dad. What kind of games does he like to play? 

      Thanks for your comments. I don’t know how cool I am, but I am a kid at heart. 

      johnny

  4. Shane

    Hi There Grandpa, i’m also one, and i am amazed at the technology now that gaming has embraced and the visuals are nothing short of spectacular. one of my favourites and one i didn’t see you mention was space invaders. how good was it when it first came out but it has been left behind by miles by the stuff that my grandsons play today.

    Who would have thought our motor skills and our thinking may be improved by this technology. you have a wonderful site it was very interesting, well done.

    Thanks Shane.      

    • johnny

      Hi Shane, I played Space Invaders too. Even though it is an older game it is still fun to play. Thank you for the comments. johnny

  5. SharonRPh

    Absolutely  love your title and graphic!  This is a well-written article and very organized.  Makes me want to start gaming myself (67);  however, right now WA is my time focus.  I’m going to refer back to your article in the future for tips and games to try!  Thanks for sharing this information with us!

    • johnny

      Hi Sharon, I am glad you enjoyed the post. I agree we need to focus on our mission at WA. I am still in the building stages of my our website. Thank you so much for your comments. johnny

  6. Renton

    Great post on a great site. It reminds me of when I was playing ps4 and my grandfather came and date and watched me playi, and I handed him the dual shock and he actually just tried it out! He never complained, or said he was too old he just gave it a go (Assadins Creed Unity if you’re wondering)

    It is great that you are able to see the value of video games and have shared this with others. I think video games have more of a positive impact than a negative one. Video games can provide a brilliant adventure or fun escape for a short while before returning to the harsh real world.

    • johnny

      Hi Renton, I love the Assassins Creed series. The character movement is amazing. Good for your grandpa. I agree video games can be positive. Reality can be harsh. Thanks for your input. I feel like I am on the right track with this website. johnny

  7. tim

    Hey Johnny-  Great trip down memory lane for gamers.  I too remember Pong…and some other early ones that were my favorites were Tank, Gran Tran 10, Space War, Breakout, and Gun Fight.   Very basic graphics…but so fun.

    You mentioned how there are some good educational (developmental) video games for children.  In your research have you come across a few good hand held systems for kids to recommend?

    • johnny

      Hi Tim, just go online and Google “educational video games” or “handheld video game systems”. I am sure something will come up to point you in the right directions. I know Nintendo (called Switch) and PlayStation (called PSP-PlayStation portable) have handheld systems. Thank you for your comments. I hope this helps. Let me know how your search goes. johnny

  8. Albert

    I am a fan of video games and I used to play more than 4 hours per day (Good old days). Now, however, things have changed and my life has became so busy that I can only play at the weekends. I didn’t know the history of video games go back to 1950. It is very interesting for me because I didn’t exist at that time.

    I think the exciting future of video gaming is virtual reality. Do you agree?

    • johnny

      Hi Albert, I agree, VR is one of the next big things happening in video gaming. PlayStation has a VR system that works with the PlayStation 4. It already has over 200 games you can play. Another one is the Oculus VR. It looks pretty good. T

      I don’t really spend a lot of time playing either. Like you said, life keeps us busy. It is nice on weekends when you can spare an hour or so to go beat up some zombies or fly a jet. 

      Thanks for you comments. johnny

  9. Linda

    Hi Grandpa, this is a very informative site about videogames and the best ways to use them. I like the approach about how much you can actually learn from them. Often you hear about parents who have to take away pc and mobiles from their kids, because they use it all the time. I like you point out how much fun you can have together across generations. I am impressed about your knowlegde in this topic. I think this site will inspire a lot of peolpe. Good work Grandpa. Linda

    • johnny

      Hi Linda, with anything in our lives, we can abuse them, even PCs or video games. If kids are spending most of their time playing video games then that is a problem. There has to be a balance. Thank you for your comments. johnny

  10. glenda

    I do agree that the percentage of grandpa who’s into playing video games are rapidly increasing recently, though playing video games are not most grandpa are keen getting into, It does have benefit from playing video games. Benefits included are it do activate mind and body as well as improve and develop social connectedness.

    • johnny

      Hi Glenda, I agree probably most grandparents are not interested in video games. But like you said some do. Probably most grand kids are not interested in what hobbies their grandparents are into either. Maybe it can be a give and take from grandparents and grand kids. Hopefully, by taking interest in what each other enjoy doing, then the relationship will grow. Maybe they can find a common ground between the old and the young. I know when my granddaughter visits we have a lot fun playing video games, but we have fun doing other things too. Thank you so much for your comments. johnny

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