History of video games/Computer games

Early Computer GamesEdit

See the chapters early games and Dr. Nim for early examples of computer games.




Notable Devices of the 1980'sEdit


Regional ComputersEdit

In the 1980's there was a rivalry between Iraqi users of the Al Warkaa and the Sakhr 170 home gaming computers.[1][2]

In Wales, Dragon computers were popular.[3]



By 1990 well used dithering was being used in EGA games to create the illusion of better colors.[4] From the early to late 1990's Color Cycling, the shifting of a palette on a still image, was used to produce resource efficient animations in computer games.[4][5]

The 1990's saw the first common graphics cards, as well as the first common 3D API's for graphics cards such as Glide.

The introduction of CD-ROMs was initially seen as a way to reduce costs and piracy compared to floppy disks,[6] though pirates quickly gained familiarity with the new format.[7]

In 1994, the first Dreamhack was held in Malung, Sweden.[8]

In 1996 the Marine Doom is made for US military training, a notable early use of FPS games for military training.[9]


Valve launches Steam on September 12th, 2003.[10]

Audio Cards remain popular till the end of the decade in many high end gaming rigs, along with brief experiments in gaming themed network and physics acceleration cards.




Rise of SteamEdit

We think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. If a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable.
—Gabe Newell, Interview with the The Cambridge Student - 2011.[11][12]

In 2011 Valve identifies game piracy as a service problem.[13] In 2013 Steam distributed 75% of digital games on PC.[14]

In 2015 Steam and Bethesda briefly introduced paid mods as a feature, before quickly withdrawing it in response to widespread criticism.[15][16]

2010's galleyEdit


The COVID-19 pandemic caused a shortage of computer parts.[17] Despite this the Folding@Home distributed computing project reaches quickly 1.5 Exaflops of capability as thousands of PC gamers donate unused cycles from their computers to tackle biomedical research in the fight against COVID-19.[18]

The Trump Administration began enforcing a new tariff on computer components from China near the end of it's term in mid January 2021, causing GPU prices to significantly increase, sometimes by several hundred dollars.[19][20]

Some manufactures experimented with PCs in handheld console formfactors.[21]


  1. "History of computers in Iraq". http://blog.hardcoregaming101.net/2012/03/history-of-computers-in-iraq.html. Retrieved 8 November 2020. 
  2. Byford, Sam (1 May 2012). "Al-Warkaa: the Iraqi home computer series that took on the MSX 'enemy'" (in en). https://www.theverge.com/2012/5/1/2992926/al-warkaa-iraqi-home-computer-series. Retrieved 8 November 2020. 
  3. Evans, Jason (23 December 2019). "When a Welsh computer was the must-have Christmas gift" (in en). WalesOnline. https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/dragon-computer-32-64-vintage-17433026. 
  4. a b "8 Bit & '8 Bitish' Graphics-Outside the Box". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMcJ1Jvtef0. Retrieved 17 November 2020. 
  5. "Old School Color Cycling with HTML5 EffectGames.com". http://www.effectgames.com/effect/article-Old_School_Color_Cycling_with_HTML5.html. Retrieved 17 November 2020. 
  6. "WATCH OUT FOR THE CD-ROM HYPE Some industry executives tout the luminescent disks as the hottest thing since the VCR. But that view rests on seven myths you should know about. - September 19, 1994". https://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1994/09/19/79746/index.htm. 
  7. D'Alessio, Vittoria. "Chinese pirates target software on CD". https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg14519613-200-chinese-pirates-target-software-on-cd/. 
  8. "Dreamhack on Twitter" (in en). https://twitter.com/DreamHack/status/586498461069135872. Retrieved 3 November 2020. 
  9. Riddell, Rob. "Doom Goes To War". Wired. https://www.wired.com/1997/04/ff-doom/. 
  10. Sayer, Matt; Wilde, Tyler (12 September 2018). "The 15-year evolution of Steam". https://www.pcgamer.com/steam-versions/. Retrieved 14 November 2020. 
  11. "Valve's Gabe Newell Says Piracy Is a Service Problem". https://v1.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/114391-Valves-Gabe-Newell-Says-Piracy-Is-a-Service-Problem. 
  12. "Gabe Says Piracy Isn't About Price - IGN" (in en). https://www.ign.com/articles/2011/11/25/gabe-says-piracy-isnt-about-price. 
  13. Cifaldi, Frank. "Valve: Piracy Is More About Convenience Than Price". https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/127812/Valve_Piracy_Is_More_About_Convenience_Than_Price.php. Retrieved 14 November 2020. 
  14. "Valve Lines Up Console Partners in Challenge to Microsoft, Sony" (in en). 4 November 2013. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-11-04/valve-lines-up-console-partners-in-challenge-to-microsoft-sony. 
  15. Prescott, Shaun (27 April 2015). "Valve has removed paid mods functionality from Steam Workshop". PC Gamer. https://www.pcgamer.com/valve-has-removed-paid-mods-functionality-from-steam-workshop/. 
  16. McWhertor, Michael (27 April 2015). "Valve kills paid mods on Steam, will refund Skyrim mod buyers" (in en). Polygon. https://www.polygon.com/2015/4/27/8505883/valve-removing-paid-mods-from-steam. 
  17. Leon, Nicholas De. "How to Buy a Computer During the Great Laptop Shortage of 2020". https://www.consumerreports.org/laptop-computers/how-to-buy-a-computer-during-the-great-laptop-shortage-of-2020/. 
  18. Merritt, Rick (1 April 2020). "NVIDIA Blogs: Virus War Goes Viral: Folding@Home Gets 1.5 Exaflops to Fight COVID-19". The Official NVIDIA Blog. https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2020/04/01/foldingathome-exaflop-coronavirus/. 
  19. "With Tariffs Back in Place, GPU Vendors EVGA, Zotac Raise Prices on Graphics Cards" (in en). PCMAG. https://www.pcmag.com/news/with-tariffs-back-in-place-gpu-vendors-evga-zotac-raise-prices-on-graphics. 
  20. Hollister, Sean (13 January 2021). "Sure enough, EVGA and Zotac have raised prices on the Nvidia RTX 3080 and beyond" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/13/22228470/nvidia-evga-zotac-raise-prices-rtx-3080-3070-3060-3090. 
  21. Palladino, Valentina (6 January 2020). "Dell’s new Concept UFO puts PC gaming on a Nintendo Switch-like device" (in en-us). Ars Technica. https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2020/01/dells-new-concept-ufo-puts-pc-gaming-on-a-nintendo-switch-like-device/. 

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