When people think about the 1970s and 1980s, a lot of what people know revolves around music and fashion. Of course, it is hard to blame them: legends like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Madonna dominated these decades, as well as style icons such as Stevie Nicks, Jane Fonda, Liza Minelli, and Olivia Newton-John. However, the 1970s and 1980s also transformed the gaming industry, with an influx of gamers, young and old.
In 1971, Ted Dabney and Nolan Bushnell created Computer Space, which is widely considered the world’s first-ever arcade machine. Home game consoles like the Atari 2600 entered the market six years later, followed by the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1983. These gaming technologies were considered cutting-edge, and games like Space Invaders became globally famous. Other popular games released throughout these decades include Pong, Breakout, Lunar Lander, Golden Axe, Out Run and hundreds more.
The Ongoing Gaming Evolution
With the release of these games, the gaming industry during the 1970s and 1980s reached incredible heights, and the growth never seemed to slow down, albeit with the video game crash that lasted a couple of years in the US in 1983. In fact, the evolution of the video gaming industry between the 1970s and 1980s led to the rapid success of the iGaming industry in recent years. The 1990s added to the technologies introduced ten years before, and the video gaming industry started experimenting with wider colour palettes, and designers started altering 2D objects to create 3D imagery. The 1990s also witnessed the first ever iGaming site, building on the popularity in the 1970s of land-based casinos like Stardust Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and Caesars Palace.
In 2023, most video games have 64-bit graphics, but this was not always the case. Between the 1970s and early 1990s, most video games had 8-bit, 16-bit and then 32-bit graphics (which Sony PlayStation games were renowned for) before 64-bit graphics eventually took over the market towards the end of the decade in 1996. For example, games like Super Mario 64 are most famous for leading this 64-bit graphic evolution. Likewise, iGaming sites have evolved since the early 1990s. Today, players have access to a broader range of games, such as live-streamed games, and casino bonuses like new member offers, slot prize draws, and free spins. In both modern video games like The Last of Us and online casino games such as Slingo, the graphics are of a higher quality than the games introduced between the 1970s and 1990s.
The 1970s and 1980s had an increased interest in gaming, fashion and music and laid the foundation for the video games industry we have come to know, recognise, and love today. Without the creation of at-home video game consoles like the Atari 2600 in 1977, we may never have witnessed the introduction of 64-bit graphic games in the 1990s. These technologies have shaped modern entertainment and will continue to in future years.