Almost forgot to post the Top-10 again? Won't be the first time I'm afraid. But hey, let's debate our top-10 "firsts" in video gaming history.
Adventure, Atari 2600 - First Easter egg
Spirit of 76 Pinball - First solid state pinball
Star Fire Arcade - First game with high score initials - First cockpit arcade game
Gran Trak Arcade - First racing game with steering wheel controller
PONG Arcade - First successful arcade game
Fairchild Channel F Console - First programmable ROM cartridges
Auto Race Handheld, Mattel - First electronic handheld game
Pac-Man Arcade - First official video game mascot
Ball - First Nintendo Game & Watch
Wolfenstein 3D - First First Person Shooter
Gun Fight Arcade, Midway - First microprosessor arcade game
Adventure - First text adventure
From the Facebook picture for this, my initial thought was things like first licensed products.
This is actually a really hard one, but I went with Gun Fight - using microprocessors just opened up everything. I could make a good case for a lot of these, though. Really interesting top 10.
I had to go with Pong since of course the first successful arcade game should be number one. Followed closely by the first mascot at number 2.
I went with the Fairchild Channel F, At one time I had all the carts up to Alien Invasion #26. I even had the two demo carts. The place where my dad worked sold these systems and games, so I was able to get them right when they came out plus a discount
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I voted for Wolfenstein 3d just for fun. But honestly, it's not the first fps...just one that helped solidify the genre.
If I'm not mistaken - Maze War from 1973 takes that honor. There's even an IOS version you can check out.
**Edit: Vipp brought it to my attention that SPASIM might be the first FPS...but there's no way to prove either way. Maze War feels more like an FPS game to me though ;-)
Here's a pretty fascinating video compiling a ton of pre-Wolf3d FPS games. Now not all of these are shooters, but they helped develop the genre. One omission I noticed was Escape from the Mindmaster from Starpath on 2600. The sound on that game could be pretty grating!
And here's part two:
Last edited by Diagamblic; 02-05-13 at 04:33.
Scott and UK saying that the Space Invaders alien was a mascot.
Next you'll be telling us that the Centipede is a mascot...or that the Asteroids ship is a mascot. Or the tanks in Combat. Or a Tetris piece. Or the Pong paddle. You might as well, if you're willing to allow something as generic as a Space Inavaders alien to be a mascot.
I think it's an extremely recognizable artifact of gaming. But a Mascot? It doesn't even have a name. It doesn't even have a standard form. I know that Video Games Live and EGM use Space Invaders aliens as icons, but they don't even use the same one. Which Space Invaders alien are you talking about? Isn't there like four of them?
Pac-Man is an actual character. He has a name. He almost immediately grew out of the limitations of his game. He had comics, cartoons, dolls, and cereal. The Space Invaders alien also appeared outside of the game, but was it really being used AS A MASCOT? I don't think so. It was used in a much more generic sense and wasn't even considered a real character. It was no more iconic than a barrel in Donkey Kong.
Even if I could grant that the Space Invaders alien was a mascot, it didn't even approach such status until much later. And I don't agree with this post-hoc reasoning; "Space Invaders came first ergo Space Invaders guy is the first mascot." If he wasn't a mascot at the time, then he wasn't the first mascot. You can't just retroactively award it something it didn't accomplish until later.
Now, I do agree with Scott on the importance of recognizing firsts. A lot of the innovations in video games would have happened anyway, even if their recognized pioneers hadn't invented them. Without the Fairchild Channel-F we would have eventually had true cartridge-based games, but that shouldn't take away from the Fairchild. Otherwise, you could just as easy discount any gaming firsts.
Recognition is a great incentive for innovation, and we should honor those who are the first to make breakthroughs and not simply hand-wave them because something better came along or because the industry was already making strides in that direction anyway.
Last edited by TV's Mr. Neil; 03-05-13 at 07:13.
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I haven't finished listening to the Top 10 debate yet (I'm at the arguing over the Space Invader as a mascot part), but I wanted to add my 2 cents, based on what I've heard thus far...
I would say that currently, in today's video gaming culture, the Space Invader is indeed a mascot of sorts (icon or symbol being the more accurate term). However, I agree with SoCal that Pacman was the first real "mascot" for / of video gaming, and here's why.
If I'm hearing this correctly, Scott's argument is that the Space Invader should be considered the first "mascot" of video gaming because chronologically, he existed before Pac-Man. But at the time the Space Invader came about, he was no more a symbol ("mascot") of video gaming than the airplane in Canyon Bomber, the torpedo in Sea Wolf, or the race car in Sprint 2.
The Space Invader wasn't considered a popular character. He may have been part of an extraordinarily successful game (particularly in Japan), but at that time, I don't believe that people were thinking in terms of video game "characters" (mascots, icons, et al). They were thinking of, and becoming obsessed with the game as a whole.
It wasn't until Pac-Man came along that people began to identify with a video game "character". In fact, I would surmise that if SoCal had chosen the term "character" instead of "mascot", the argument may not have occurred in the first place.
Is Pac-Man the modern day video game "mascot"? To some, perhaps. Maybe even to many. Was he the video game mascot of the '80s? Without question, hands down.
But TODAY... if you are looking to characterize video games in general, through an image ("icon"), then the Space Invader is probably the top choice. Hell, I even saw a variation of him on some generic AA batteries in Fry's Electronics yesterday (the package said they were great batteries for handheld gaming).
Having said that, if you were to show video game fans that weren't around during the golden age a picture of the Space Invader, and a picture of Pac-Man, I'm willing to bet that more of them would be able to identify Pac-Man than would be able to identify the Space Invader. They may be able to tell the Space Invader is from an old video game (or from Video Games Live), but that would be the extent of it.
Therefore, in this Top 10 debate, SoCal is correct.
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