Episode 49 – The History of Video Games

This week, join us for a very special podcast where we talk about the rise and not-quite-fall of Japan’s video game industry. We’ll cover the histories of the major Japanese gaming companies, and even discuss my own very tangential involvement in Japan’s video game sector.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Anchordoguy, Marie. Reprogamming Japan. 

Beyond that, mostly just googling around; it’s hard to find good academic stuff on the history of gaming, so my rule was to use any piece of information I found verified by more than three sources. It’s not foolproof, but in a pinch it gives you a fighting shot of filtering out most of the nonsense.

Images 

OXO, one of the first games ever programmed, running in an emulator on a modern system. The code for the game dates from 1952. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
OXO, one of the first games ever programmed, running in an emulator on a modern system. The code for the game dates from 1952. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
SpaceWar!, the first mass-distributed video game from 1960. Courtesy of ArsTechnica.
SpaceWar!, the first mass-distributed video game from 1960. Courtesy of ArsTechnica.
Space Invaders, the 1978 game which put Taito on the map. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Space Invaders, the 1978 game which put Taito on the map. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Donkey Kong, Nintendo's first breakout hit in the US. Courtesy of GiantBomb.
Donkey Kong, Nintendo’s first breakout hit in the US. Courtesy of GiantBomb.
David Rosen, center, from 1985. The next year Sega would launch its first home system, the Sega Master System.
David Rosen, center, from 1985. The next year Sega would launch its first home system, the Sega Master System.
Miyamoto Shigeru is Nintendo's game design auteur, responsible for creating the Mario franchise (among other things). Courtesy of mariowiki.com.
Miyamoto Shigeru is Nintendo’s game design auteur, responsible for creating the Mario franchise (among other things). Courtesy of mariowiki.com.
The Sega Dreamcast, the final Sega system to be produced. I still believe! Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
The Sega Dreamcast, the final Sega system to be produced. I still believe! Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
The Wii U, Nintendo's newest system and one of the projects I worked on while I was there. Courtesy of Endgaget.
The Wii U, Nintendo’s newest system and one of the projects I worked on while I was there. Courtesy of Endgaget.
The PlayStation 4, Sony's most recent entrant into the home console market. We've come a long way since Spacewar. Courtesy of Business Insider.
The PlayStation 4, Sony’s most recent entrant into the home console market. We’ve come a long way since Spacewar. Courtesy of Business Insider.

 

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