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The Games We Play

Apr 8, 2008
I recently took a trip down memory lane when I came across a free online games site by chance. I am now in my forties and playing video games is not really my 'thing' any more. But whilst I was doing some research for a software developer I happened upon one of the many games sites now available online.

I was amazed at the variety of free games now available to the consumer. Its a far cry from the first games when your only choice was table - tennis or 'Pong'as it was called. You did have a choice, you could play single or doubles! Its no wonder that when 'Space Invaders' came out in 1980 that it was such a big hit. Saying that, not even I remember the very first games which are documented as being conceived at MIT in 1961. 'Spacewars' as it was called was a computing exercise at the time and it would be twenty years before the full extent of the commercialism of games would be realized.

We have, of course, been playing games for centuries. The first recorded games of note were the Olympiads of Ancient Greece. Thought to date back to before the records show, the first games started in 776 B.C. and took place every four years for nearly 1200 years until Theodosius I, a Christian roman emperor abolished them. It would take 1500 years before they would be revived again and the first modern olympics would take place in Athens, Greece in 1896 as homage to the original founders.

The playing of games though may be traced back even further than the Olympics. There is a more primal issue at work involved in the playing of games. It can be related to tribal behaviour in the earliest forms of man where competition for dominance and leadership of the tribe were fought out in competition. Even earlier than this and more primeval is the very nature of evolution and the need to reproduce. The expression 'Survival of the fittest' can be as easily attributed to gaming as it can to Darwin's Theory of Evolution. The winner takes all mentality is ingrained in all of us from birth as part of our genetic make-up.

So it is not surprising that with the coming of the computer age that mans innate need to satisfy the desire for competition has found a new horizon on the internet. Free online games can now be found to meet all genres of sport. Whilst there may be concern for the hours that our children spend playing such games, it is not surprising as they are just finding the most accessible form of playing out their most basic of instincts.

The gaming business has come along way from the early days of invention at MIT. It matured through the console wars when the big players such as Nintendo and Sony did battle with Microsoft and X-Box. The future, as with most industries today, lies with the development of the internet and the integration of the computer into our televisions and phones and who knows where else. What we can be sure of though, is that wherever the evolution of gaming ends up, our most primal of instinct will be there forcing us to compete. So in the best tradition of the Olympiads, Let the games begin!
About the Author
For the best in free games online. You can find all categories of games to play at net games
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