Early Video Games


From today’s perspective, Pong is a game too simple to be enjoyed by most, and Oregon Trail is lacking in immersion compared to more interactive experiences such as Red Dead Redemption. But I am also starting to see why these games could gain the success that they had at their times.

Pong being one of the first well known video games, is very simple at its core. But although it is as barebones as a PvP game gets, it manages to capture what makes any competitive game fun, which is interaction between people. By trying to program and recreate the game Pong in another class with JavaScript, I came to realize that this game is actually much more clever than most would realize. The ball in the original Pong responds to just enough amount of user inputs so the game does not feel stale and could create interesting dynamics when played with a friend. This contributed to the game’s complexity to make it worthy leavi ng its mark in the history of gaming.

Oregon Trail on the other hand is the most immersive experience given what’s technically feasible at the time. Although being limited by hardware and the technology, it combined just enough game design, art, and music to make you truly feel like the protagonist in the experience. This must have been a hugely groundbreaking experience at the time of its creation that made it so successful.

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Hongye Sun