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The Sociopolitical Ramifications of Computer Gaming

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 10:26 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.1 
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Since the dawning of civilization, when the first humans walked the earth, games have played an integral part in human society. Humanity has always had a passion for pastimes and has accordingly created an immense number of methods for achieving diversion. From the game of Senet, an ancient Egyptian game of royal appeal (and perhaps even the primogenitor of modern backgammon) that was discovered in the tombs of pharaohs; Hnefatafl, a Norse precursor to chess; and Calculi, a Roman game that strikingly resembled a later game commonly known as ‘checkers’; to modern electronic games that are nearly omnipresent in our current day and age, the human race has continually striven for new and improved ways of amusing itself. So it is no surprise that, with the inception of computers during the era of World War II, computer gaming would shortly follow.

And how quickly it did follow. Historians avidly speak about the principle of quickening, a phenomenon which, as time ticks on, causes the development of new things to hasten. The development of computer games is nothing if not subject to this theory. In the early beginning of computer gaming, games (as well as new gaming technology) were few and far between. In fact, four years elapsed from the time the first computer game by William A. Higinbotham called Tennis For Two (a name that would later evolve into Pong), was created, until the completion of the second computer game, Spacewar! created by a cadre of students from MIT. Today, hardly a day passes in which a new computer game is not released and the technology used to create games advances at an increasingly rapid pace.

However, in order to fully understand the phenomenon that is computer gaming, we must first understand the culture that gave rise to it…

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The mists of gaming yore are thick and shroud much. The 1930s in America was a decade of challenges. The Great Depression...


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