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How video games have changed throughout the years

30th November 2020 Print

For the last 50 years gaming has become one of the largest global industries. Worth over 60.4 billion USD, this figure is only set to soar. As more and more people turned to video games over lockdown as a way to keep themselves not only entertained, but connected to friends and family, gaming demonstrated it has a rightful place in the modern world. 

Those who have enjoy gaming through the years always want to keep up with the most modern consoles, so they are able to enjoy themselves with the latest and greatest the technology has to offer. Though the prices of these new consoles are increasing with every new release, most people are able to save a chunk of money by trading in their old consoles to help fund towards the newest gaming technology which almost guarantees them another 5-10 years worth of new game releases.

Once vilified for causing violence, studies have actually shown that gaming encourages empathy, logical and lateral thinking, as well as a myriad of other benefits. But, how exactly have video games changed throughout the years?  


Gaming graphics, whether played on a console, PC, or mobile device have improved tremendously over the decades. Even games that were released relatively recently demonstrate how much graphics have evolved.  In the early 90s manufactures started created the illusion of 3D graphics. By the mid-2000s developers were taking full advantage of 3D technology on PC and consoles.   

Paying for games 

While the whole purpose of the video games industry hasn’t changed, i.e. to monetize games in order for the business to be profitable, the way in which in we pay for games has changed dramatically. In the early days of gaming, players would either play at an arcade and pay for each game to get lives, or they could buy a console and play games at home. Then during the 90s and early noughties when the internet became more widespread, game publishers were able to release expansion packs. Now, many games are purchased through loot box systems.  


If you were fortunate enough to have a console in the late 1980s / early 90s, the only way to play with your friends was with a split screen. However, over time, online gaming slowly started to dominate the industry. Now, few games support split screen, and almost all multiplayer games require players to play online instead of sharing the same screen in person.  


Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, there was a big demand for cheats in video games. Developers included cheat codes that could be entered whilst playing, and they’d unlock different things or change the game in different ways.  

Now though, cheat codes are pretty much non-existent, and cheating in today’s games is highly frowned upon.