Electronic Games


In 1993 id Software published Doom, one of the most influential computer games of all time. Doom popularized a three-dimensional, first-person perspective camera—allowing players to see the game through the eyes of the character they controlled. The game also popularized online multiplayer gaming (playing with or against other people through LANs or the Internet).

In the early 1990s a drop in the price of CD-ROM technology led to a wave of multimedia games (games that combine audio, video, animation, photographs, or other media). Compact discs (CDs) can store from 650 to 700 megabytes of data, more than 400 times the storage space of standard floppy disks. With this extra storage, designers could add voice files, digitized video of live actors, and other assets to their games. Companies such as Digital Pictures, Access Software, and Viacom published interactive movies, or games that combined digitized footage of real actors and virtual sets.

In 1993 Broderbund published a game called Myst for Macintosh computers, and Virgin Interactive Entertainment published a game called The 7th Guest for the PC. In both games the player explores a rich virtual world, trying to solve puzzles. Millions of copies of these games were sold, popularizing multimedia technology and attracting large new audiences to computer gaming.

In 1995 Microsoft launched Windows 95, an operating system that further simplified the use of PCs as a gaming platform. With built-in driver support for sound cards, graphics cards, joysticks, and other controllers, Windows 95 removed most of the compatibility issues that had long plagued computer gaming.

The PC game market declined in the early 2000s as video-game consoles became more powerful, incorporating high-end graphics, hard drives, and Internet features that were formerly exclusive to home computers. Some popular console games continued to be simultaneously released for the PC, but others were designed solely for the console market.

Contributed By:
Steven L. Kent

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