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How games travelled from our tabletops to our telephone screens

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From smartphone games like Candy Crush Saga, to console titles like The Legend of Zelda, video gaming is a massive industry that has long eclipsed the likes of music and movies in terms of global revenues.

The gaming industry is now thought to be worth nearly $100 billion. And what’s remarkable is how quickly it has arrived at this phenomenal figure. Considering that computers only started penetrating our homes in the 1980s, it shows what an impressive growth rate this industry has enjoyed.

Whilst many people continue to enjoy traditional board games like Monopoly and Risk, it’s clear that things have shifted into the digital domain. As soon as classic arcade titles like Pac-Man and Space Invaders entered mass consciousness, it became clear that gaming was entering a brand new phase in its evolution.

Although games like chess and checkers had remained remarkably unchanged for years, the rapid pace of change in the nascent video gaming scene meant a new generation of software developers were constantly battling primitive computer technology to try and bring about realistic graphics and immersive gameplay.

A quick look at some of the home computer classics of the 1980s shows that games like Manic Miner and Elite feature some hilarious pixelated graphics and ultra-basic gameplay that makes you wonder how video gaming ever became a world beater.

But as soon as Nintendo and Sega introduced their dedicated home gaming consoles, it became quickly apparent that things were changing. With cheerful characters like Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog, video gaming became a truly family friendly affair that took the activity into the mainstream.

And whilst we can take internet technologies for granted in giving us everything from social media to eCommerce firms, it was when video gaming utilised the interconnected nature of the internet that things took off.

Iconic games like World of Warcraft enabled multiplayer battles to take place in real-time all over the world. And a new generation of titles for impressive consoles like the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox ushered in a new wave of realism.

The mobile gaming realm has also proven to be hugely influential. Ever since Apple released their iconic iPhone mobile device, gaming on a small handset has become massively popular. This is because more and more people now have portable gaming platform in their pockets. So that whether it’s adult gamers using a browser to check the highlights at www.bingosites.uk, or kids planning their next incredible Minecraft build, it has helped all of us become a world of gamers.

So where does gaming go from here? Last year saw the Pokémon Go game released that cleverly used augmented reality technology to encourage gamers to leave the home as they hunted down digital creatures. And we’ve seen how VR headsets like the Oculus Rift are now able to create stunning three-dimensional representations of virtual reality in a way that would make today’s console games seem suddenly very outdated.

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