Game From Time to Time

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Game From Time to Time

Every human in this planet know what game is. Games are in integral part of all societies. They are the expression of the most basic part of human nature. Just as humans have an internal need to work, they need to play.

Nowadays, games are included as an activity for everyone, regardless of age, gender, and social status. Each playing games for their own purpose. Some people play games to stay healthy, some play just for fun, the others play for money.

People have known games for a very long time. Scientist found that people have played games since Stone Age. Their games were pretty simple such as playing tag, catch and throw, etc. Then, as the time flow, people begin to develop a more entertaining and more advanced game.

The roots of the game can be traced across China, India, and Japan from three or four millennia ago. Far from Stone Age mentioned above, dice is also a traditional game. It is believed to be discovered around 3000 BC.

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Games are split into many different kinds. Even sports are considered games, they are called Sport Games. Besides sport games, there are two other types of games known worldwide. They are Tabletop Games and Video Games.

Sport Games are, type of games that involves one or more parts of body to play it. Also, other criteria for a sport games are beneficial for health and dynamic, which means, the player will move to other locations instead of just sit and play the games.

Tabletop Games are different. These types of game are playable atop the table, or board, or some other flat areas/foundation. Card, dice, board, and miniature games are included in this type of game. Usually, tabletop games player only sit still while using their hands and mind to play the game.

The third type of game is Video Games. While the other types of games have been played since ancient times, video games are first discovered in 1947 by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann.[1] Video games use a specific device to play it, we called it console. This type of game has developed rapidly lately.

Other than the three types of games above, the other types of game are to be included in one of the three major types. Games are also can be divided into other types depending on the categorizing process.

Games development is very quick nowadays. As the time flows forward, games are more rapidly developing into new kind of games, or at least new title of the same genre. Concerned by this progress, some people raised their objection about how games negatively affect youths nowadays. Games slowly began to take place as an important activity for people, especially youth and kids. People have begun to prioritize games above their other activities, such as work and studying, or so they say.

Regardless, some people disagree that games bring such a negative effect on a society, laziness, consumerism, and other things that could have a negative influence. Their main reason is that the people behavior is from the people itself, game have nothing to do with people becoming lazy, disobedient, and other things.

However, until today, that conflict was never solved. It is true that games have a negative influence, and it is also true that only the person itself can decide whether to absorb the negative effect, or the positive effect.

Recently, scientists have made many researches about the game itself, especially video games, which is very controversial among the two factions that support and the ones that oppose video games. Most of the researches come into a conclusion that video games bring more positive effects than its negative effect.

During the research, researcher picked several people to play games every day. In this case, they were instructed to play RPG (Role Playing Game). After a month, they picked another peoples to participate in the research. The researcher asked several logical questions. After ten questions, they found out that the group that playing games think twice faster and more correct answer than the other group.

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Another research is a scientist picked a gamer and asked a help about some problem. The gamer must provide the scientist with a solution to his problems. After several inquiries, they convinced that a gamer can provide a more logic and more accurate answer.

From many researches, they have come to several conclusions. First, video games contributed greatly on how people use their logic and other aspects of thinking. Secondly, playing games can speed up your brain, makes you think faster and accurately. And the third, games can bring happiness, ease your boredom, and time killer activity. Thus, it's proven that playing video games can bring many positive effects to our brain, improving its skills.

Aside from that, benefit of playing games is vary according to the type of games we play. Playing some type of games will bring different benefits compared to other type of games. However, each type of game also has a negative effect, beside its positive effects. Aside from that, you cannot play games because you want to reap its benefit, you can only play games that you like it, even it has more negative effect than its positive effect.

As stated above, games are divided into many kind of genre. In video games, there are so many genre and sub-genre. Genres that are widely known are: RPG (Role Playing Game), Strategy, Action, Racing, War, FPS (First Person Shooting), Mystery Solving, Music Playing (Rhythmic), Kids Games, Simulation, and sports. There is some other genre, but generally it is included in one of the genre above.

RPG is a genre that keeps gaining popularity since 1996. So many people choose this kind of games to be the best type of game, much better than any other. This genre emphasizes on the main character story. We play the games told through the eyes of the main character, how the main character sees things, his/her feeling, and other aspects as it if we are the main character itself. This is the main reason why gamer choose this genre as their favorites. Another reason is that this game has an experience (exp), which represents character's level. Some gamers find it's so fun to raise their characters level.

Strategy games also have many fans. This genre is not limited to video games, as chess can also be included in this genre. However, we will focus on the video games. Strategy games are more relaxed version of other kinds of games. Most of your time while playing this game is spent on thinking what will be your next move. You won't have to press so much button or rapidly using or quickly tap a button to play this game. All you have to do is just make your move, see what happened, and reassess the situation to plan your next move. By frequently playing strategy games, you can think several steps ahead of everything, resulting more accurate actions.

Action type games are the most aggressive form of games. In this game, you will have to utilize your reflexes to its fullest. You have to press the buttons quickly, rapidly, and accurately to execute some chain of command to bring you to victory in this game. Many gamers are also fans of this genre. This game will improve your reflexes, sensitivity, prediction, self-control, and your short-time judgment.

Racing is about the same as action, but focus on car driving, motorbikes, and etc. You will have to drive your vehicle, competing with other racers, and drive through the track/circuit to the finish line. Your skills in driving a vehicle will be tested in this game. Your balance, feeling, reflexes, and composure will improve if you play these games.

War is a form of genre, because it may contain some strategy element, and FPS (First Person Shooting) element. A mix of them both and a war atmosphere resulting a challenging form of game. Your movement will be steady and your aim will be precise if you frequently play this game. You will also improve your ability to work as a team, either with human or with AI/computer.

Simulation is also a genre with many fans. True to its name, this genre offers a nearly realistic simulation of something. That something may include building a city (Sim City), flying an airplane (Jet de Go), managing a mall (Mall tycoon), and many other simulations. Playing simulation game can give you a better understanding on something. For example, how to fly an airplane, how to became a manager of a zoo, and many others. It can give you the opportunity to think several steps ahead by playing this simulation.

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There are many other types of video game genres, but in general, these categories above can give us a clear distinction of video game genre. Each people always like at least one of these genres, but no one like all of them. We can find what genre that we like by try and playing different kind of games. Eventually, we will find which one we liked most.

Gamers' favorites are different from place to place. According to surveys, gamers from the east (mainly from Japan), prefer strategy games than an action games. In contrary, western gamers prefer an action based games than some strategy and simulation games. This pattern will help developers develop games suitable for its market.

There are also many game developers, mainly as company than a group of people. From the East, most of the games come from Japan. Meanwhile in the West, America is the largest game industry, followed closely by Europe. Eastern and Western games are different, they are unique, depending on the producers.

The differences between Western and Eastern games mainly at its graphic, or the appearance of the characters. Western games use a character that illustrated as a real human, with American-style drawing. If we look closely on Western games, their main character (and the other characters) is human, closely resembling the real human/people. While Eastern games, which mainly comes from Japan, use more imaginative characters. They do use human character, but the character will be added with some unique styles that uncommon use or very strange, but good look, accessories. For example, the character has a hair shaped like a letter K, which is very uncommon among the normal person. The differences in the characterization are very helpful when trying to differentiate whether it is a Western game or an Eastern game.

Both sides, Western and Eastern, are working on a development of a next-gen console, each on their own way. Western is trying to make a new console that allows us to interact with the console itself. Eastern, on the other hand, is trying to make a console that can make us feel as we are at the game world itself. Both consoles are promising and are sure to entertain people; however which one can finish first is still uncertain.

Nowadays, video games are currently on the top position compared to other games. However, in the future, this may change. People create games based on the availability of technology itself. It's not impossible that someday people create more advanced game than video games.

If we trace back from the past, before electricity was discovered, people stick to traditional games that does not required electricity. As the technology improved further and further, people begin creating new devices, eventually they created specific machine for gaming purpose. So, it's likely that people create another device that support advanced gaming need.

As for the video games itself, it has its own long history. In general, video games development can be split into 7 generations (vgameitself.com). Starting from 1950's until today.

The first generation of video game is quite ambiguous, it is uncertain when it was launched. Although the first computer games appeared in the 1950s, they used vector displays, not video. It was not until 1972 that Magnavox released the first home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, invented by Ralph H. Baer. The Odyssey was initially only moderately successful, and it was not until Atari's arcade game Pong popularized video games, that the public began to take more notice of the emerging industry. By the autumn of 1975 Magnavox, bowing to the popularity of Pong, cancelled the Odyssey and released a scaled down console that only played Pong and hockey, the Odyssey 100. A second "higher end" console, the Odyssey 200, was released with the 100 and added onscreen scoring, up to four players, and a third game—Smash. Almost simultaneously released with Atari's own home Pong console through Sears, these consoles jump-started the consumer market. As with the arcade market, the home market was soon flooded by dedicated consoles that played simple pong and pong-derived games.

The second generation begins when Fairchild released the Fairchild Video Entertainment System (VES) in 1976. While there had been previous game consoles that used cartridges, either the cartridges had no information and served the same function as flipping switches (the Odyssey) or the console itself was empty and the cartridge contained all of the game components. The VES, however, contained a programmable microprocessor so its cartridges only needed a single ROM chip to store microprocessor instructions.

Third generation of video games begin in 1983. Nintendo released the Family Computer (or Famicom) in Japan. Like the ColecoVision, the Famicom supported high-resolution sprites and tiled backgrounds, but with more colors. This allowed Famicom games to be longer and have more detailed graphics. Nintendo brought their Famicom over to the US in the form of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985. In the US, video games were seen as a fad that had already passed. To distinguish its product from older video game consoles, Nintendo used a front-loading cartridge port similar to a VCR on the NES, packaged the NES with a Super Mario Brothers game and a light gun (the Zapper), and originally advertised it as a toy. The plastic "robot" (R.O.B.) was also sold as an individual purchase item and in some cases packaged with the NES system.

In the fourth generation, Sega regained market share by releasing its next-generation console, the Mega Drive/Genesis, which was released in Japan on October 29, 1988, in the U.S. in August 1989 (renamed as the Sega Genesis) and in Europe in 1990, two years before Nintendo could release the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).

Not long after, Sega extended the Mega Drive with the Mega CD/Sega CD, to provide increased storage space for multimedia-based games that were then in vogue among the development community. Later, Sega released the 32X, which added some of the polygon-processing functionality common in fifth-generation machines. However, the peripheral was a commercial failure due to lack of software support, with developers more keen to concentrate on more powerful machines, with a wider user base, such as the Saturn that followed shortly after and the Sega neptune that was being made at the same time but was cancelled due to fund shortage.

The first fifth generation consoles were the Atari Jaguar and the 3DO. Both of these systems were much more powerful than the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) or Mega Drive (known as Genesis in North America); they were better at rendering polygons, could display more onscreen colors, and the 3DO used CDs that contained far more information than cartridges and were cheaper to produce. Neither of these consoles were serious threats to Sega or Nintendo, though. The 3DO cost more than the SNES and Genesis combined, and the Jaguar was extremely difficult to program for, leading to a lack of games that used its extra power. Both consoles would be discontinued in 1996.

The sixth generation saw a move towards PC-like architectures in gaming consoles, as well as a shift towards using DVDs for game media. This brought games that were both longer and more visually appealing. Furthermore, this generation also saw experimentation with online console gaming and implementing both flash and hard drive storage for game data.

At the seventh generation, the features introduced in this generation include the support of new disc formats: Blu-ray Disc, utilized by the PlayStation 3, and HD DVD supported by the Xbox 360 via an optional accessory, which was later discontinued as the format war closed. Another new technology is the use of motion as input, and IR tracking (as implemented on the Wii, and demonstrated by the PS3). Also, all seventh generation consoles support standard wireless controllers.

Realistic games are the most promising new types of games in the future. Words are these games are semi-portable, we can carry almost anywhere. The devices are to be made as small and as simple as possible. Its components are only glasses and small control unit. To play it, we simply have to wear the glasses like we wear normal glasses, and then start the game using the control unit. Your monitor will be the glasses you wear, so it is very portable and easy to bring.

Another form of next-gen console is rumored to be an interactive console. Which means the console will reflect our movement. Therefore it's possible that next-gen console will no longer need a controller device. There will also be a possibility that the operating device will become virtual and operate able by our touch.

However, the image of next-gen console is still vague. Even now, the developers still conduct research and development on the project. As a result, the outcome of this project is too vague and very unpredictable.

In fact, today's consoles are still popular. PS3 and Xbox are a fine example of the most modern console today. From the reaction of gamers, it's clear that they still satisfied by these consoles. Therefore, next-gen consoles are in no immediate need and have a plenty of time to reach perfection to satisfy gamers.

The most potential console to be the first next-gen console is computer. Computer advantages lies in its customizable parts. It can easily be tuned up into a console with specs equal as the latest game console. This feature will allow unlimited upgrading of a computer into a console that matched into any console.

Computer also offered many ultimate games, sometimes even better than other console games. Also, some of console games are made for PC, or they released the PC version of the game. They have to do this, because PC gamers' number is twice as many as console gamers. In fact, they chose to play PC because the PC's tune up ability as stated in paragraph above.

However, gaming by PC can cost us a lot. That is because we have to spend some money to upgrade its parts. To be able to match the requirement needed to play certain games, you will have to upgrade your RAM, VGA Card, processor, and other things as necessary. After that, you will also have to buy its equipment like a mouse, keyboard, and the game DVD itself. Even its more reliable than console, you still have to think before you chose PC as your game console.

Most of PC gamer has ever heard of Online Games. It is a type of games that can only be played online via internet. Online Games are designed to play with other people, thus focusing on the interaction between players than the interaction between player and non player character (NPC). When compared to other types of game, online games are also quite popular, more and more player is playing online games. And many online games are begun to arise.

Judging by world's game development, the finale will be a competition of PS3 and Xbox, as they are the top console in the world. From the statistic, Xbox sales are above PS3. However, this condition will not last long. Recent development shows that PS3 will release some great games that are sure to attract many gamers to buy PS3. Even so, Microsoft, as Xbox developers, is also made a contract with several game producers to provide Xbox gamers with fantastic games. As a result, the balance will be hard to predict, because both sides have their great games to keep gamers at their side.

However, the presence of Nintendo Wii cannot be forgotten. Nintendo entered this generation with a new approach embodied by its Wii console. The company planned to attract current hardcore and casual gamers, non-gamers, and lapsed gamers by focusing on new gameplay experiences and new forms of interaction with games rather than cutting edge graphics and expensive technology. This approach was previously implemented in the portable market with the Nintendo DS. Nintendo expressed hope that the new control schemes it has implemented will render current conventionally controlled consoles obsolete, leading to Nintendo capturing a large portion of the existing market as well.

This strategy paid off, with demand for the Wii outstripping supply throughout 2007. Since Nintendo profited on each console right from the start unlike its competitors, it has already achieved very positive returns. With only a few exceptions, monthly worldwide sales for the Wii have been higher than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, eroding Microsoft's early lead and widening the gap between its market share and Sony's. On September 12, 2007, it was reported by the British newspaper Financial Times that the Wii's sales had surpassed the Xbox 360, which was released one year previously, and became the market leader in worldwide home console sales for the current generation.

As in previous generations, Nintendo has provided strong support for its new console with popular first-party franchises like Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Pokémon, among others. To appeal to casual and non-gamers, Nintendo developed a group of core Wii games, consisting of Wii Sports, Wii Play, Wii Fit, and Wii Music,[ where players make use of the motion-sensing abilities of the console and its peripherals to simulate real world activities. With the exception of Wii Music, the games and their sequels have all been highly successful.

Publishers such as Ubisoft, EA, Capcom, and Majesco continue to release exclusive titles for the console, but the Wii's strongest titles still remain within its first-party line-up. Analysts speculated that this will change in time as the Wii's growing popularity persuades third-party publishers to focus on it; however, some third party developers are beginning to express frustration at low software sales. Goichi Suda, developer of No More Heroes for the Wii, noted that "only Nintendo titles are doing well. This isn't just because of the current situation in Japan, as this is happening outside Japan. I am very surprised about the reality about Wii, because before I was making this game, I wasn't expecting that Wii would be a console targeted only for non-gamers. I expected more games for hardcore gamers. The reality is different to what I expected." Conversely, the PAL publisher of No More Heroes Rising Star Games were greatly impressed with the game's sales. Goichi Suda later retracted his comment, saying his "point was that No More Heroes, unlike a lot of Nintendo Wii titles currently available is the kind of product which will attract a different kind of consumer to the hardware, i.e. gamers who are looking for a different genre to the products which have been successful on this platform thus far."

In early 2008, the NPD Group revealed sales data showing that, while the Wii's life-to-date attach rate is low, in December 2007, it reached 8.11—higher than the attach rates for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in that month. The Wii's low overall attach rate could be explained by reference to its rapidly increasing installed base, as financial analysts have pointed to the Xbox 360's high attach rates as indicative of an unhealthy lack of installed base growth, and warned that what actually benefits third-party developers is “quicker adoption of hardware and a rapidly growing installed base on which to sell progressively more game units,” which tends to lower the attach rate of a product.

On September 23, 2009, Nintendo announced its first price drops for the console. In the United States, the price was reduced by fifty dollars resulting in a new MSRP of $199.99, effective September 27, 2009. For Japan, the price dropped from ¥25,000 to ¥20,000, effective October 1, 2009. In Europe (with the exception of the United Kingdom), the price of a Wii console dropped from €249 to €199.

While on the Xbox side, some web review (gamespot.com), stated that “Microsoft's Xbox 360 gained an early lead in terms of market share, largely due to its established Xbox Live online gaming system, and its early launch date which was one year before its rivals. Sales in North America and Europe have continued to be strong, even after the release of the Wii and PlayStation 3. Like its predecessor, the Xbox 360 received a muted reception in Japan, attributed to the lack of content aimed at Japanese gamers.”

However, this early launch did come with some trouble, as technical problems appeared in a portion of Xbox 360 units sold. The most well known problem is the "red ring of death", which received a great deal of attention due to some users' claims of having to replace their consoles multiple times. Microsoft addressed this by offering a three year warranty on all affected consoles and repairing them free of charge. It also retroactively reimbursed owners of affected systems who paid for repairs. According to The Mercury News, new models of the console featuring 65-nanometer technology will address this and other issues; the new technology is expected to reduce heat production, which will lower the risk of overheating and system failures; although, this has never been officially confirmed by Microsoft.

As they share many cross-platform games and compete for the same audience as their predecessors, frequent comparisons are made between the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The PS3 uses the Blu-ray format, while the Xbox 360 uses a standard DVD9. The Xbox 360 is less expensive to produce, and analysts expect that a mid-revision will allow Microsoft to break-even on manufacturing costs, while industry consensus is that the Xbox 360's conventional architecture is easier to develop for.

At the end of first half of 2007, the console stabilized at 11.6 million units shipped as sales dropped 60% while its rival, Wii, gained momentum and Sony announced a competitive price drop on the PlayStation 3. Microsoft's strategy to boost sales with the release of the highly anticipated Halo 3 in September 2007 paid off, outselling the Wii that month in North America. Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division experienced a huge increase in revenue, largely driven by the release of Halo 3, and posted a quarterly profit for the first time in two years.

The Xbox 360's advantage over its competitors has been its quantity and quality of titles. The 2007 Game Critics Awards honored the platform with 38 nominations and 11 wins - more than any other platform. By March 2008, the Xbox 360 had reached a software attach rate of 7.5 games per console in the US - a record for any console in history; the rate was 7.0 in Europe, while its competitors were 3.8 (PS3) and 3.5 (Wii), according to Microsoft. At the 2008 Game Developers Conference, Microsoft announced that it expects over 1,000 games available for Xbox 360 by the end of the year. The Xbox 360 has managed to gain a simultaneous release of titles which were initially planned to be PS3 exclusives, including Devil May Cry, Ace Combat, Virtua Fighter, Grand Theft Auto IV, Final Fantasy XIII, and Tekken 6.

In August 2007, the first price drop was announced for all Stock Keeping Units (SKU's) of the Xbox 360. The Core system's price was reduced in the United States by $20, the Premium by $50, and the Elite model by $30. Also, the HDMI out port, previously exclusive to the Elite system, was added to new models of the Premium and Arcade systems, the Core system has been discontinued. Note: the "premium" system is sold in Australia as the "pro", Arcade and Elite systems retain the same names.

Sony's PlayStation 3 was released on November 11, 2006 in Japan and November 17, 2006 in USA and Canada. The system's reliance on new technology such as the Cell microprocessor and Blu-ray format has caused difficulties in manufacturing, especially the Blu-ray diode, leading to shortages at launch and the delay of the PAL region launches; however, by early December 2006, Sony announced that all production issues had been resolved.

Market analysts and Sony executives have stated that the success of the PlayStation 3 and the Blu-ray format are dependent on one another; Rich Marty, VP of New Business Development at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment stated that the “PS3 is critical to the success of Blu-ray," while Phil Harrison stated that the PlayStation 3's success will be ensured because "the growth of the Blu-ray disc movie market ... is a positive factor which will play more into the consumer psyche ... as more consumer electronics firms launch standalone disc players, as more Blu-ray disc movies become available, and as more shelf space is dedicated to the category at retail."

Sony will provide support for its console with new titles from acclaimed first-party franchises such as Gran Turismo and God of War, and secured a number of highly anticipated third-party exclusive titles, including Metal Gear Solid 4, Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online. Titles which were originally exclusive or recognized with the platform, such as Devil May Cry, Ace Combat, Virtua Fighter, and Monster Hunter, have been released on other platforms. The previous Grand Theft Auto titles were originally timed exclusives on the PlayStation 2, before making their release on other platforms, such as the Xbox, months later; however, Grand Theft Auto IV, the latest installment, arrived day one on the Xbox 360 with the release of the PlayStation 3 version, as well as having exclusive content for the Xbox 360. Announced exclusives titles for the PlayStation 3 such as Assassin's Creed; Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War, and Fatal Inertia were released on Xbox 360 as well, with the latter making its release on Xbox 360 before the PlayStation 3 version. The Katamari series, which has long been PlayStation 2 exclusives, found the latest installment, Beautiful Katamari, exclusive to Xbox 360.[67] These releases had fueled rumors and fear that Final Fantasy XIII and Tekken 6, two highly anticipated exclusive PlayStation 3 games at one point in time, would also be available for Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3's primary competitor. At E3 2008, it was announced that Final Fantasy XIII would be simultaneously released on the Xbox 360 in Europe and North America. later on October 8, 2008, it was announced that Tekken 6 would also be releasing on the Xbox 360; the fifth installment of the Metal Gear series, Metal Gear Solid: Rising, has also been announced for the Xbox 360; however, Metal Gear Solid 4, Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online still remain PlayStation 3 exclusives. Sony has blamed lower-than-expected sales, loss of exclusive titles in the PlayStation 3 software library, its higher price, and stock shortages.

In July 2007, Sony announced a drop in the price of the console by $100. This measure only applied to the 60 GB models and was exclusive to the United States and Canada, where those models are no longer in production.

On October 18, 2007, Sony announced a $100 price drop for the 80 GB model and a new $399 40 GB model to launch on November 2, 2007 with reduced features such as the removal of backward compatibility with PS2 games. Within weeks, Sony announced that sales of the 40 GB and 80 GB models by major retailers had increased 192%.

In November 2008, Sony launched a $499 160 GB model, and on 18 August 2009, Sony announced the PS3 Slim. The PS3 slim sold 1 million in under a month. It was then announced that a 250GB slim model was to be released. It was released on September 1 (or 3 depending on country) and costs $299, £249 and €299. In Australia the console will cost A$499 which is A$200 less than the standard PS3.

Judging from recent development, next-gen console is yet to arrive. As an example, Microsoft, the most advanced computer and technology developers, claim that modern computing technology, such as multi touch screen computer and controller (mouse, keyboard) free computer, will achieved at 2011. This means those next-gen consoles that allow us to interfere directly with games environment is still far, far away from today (2009).

[1] www.wikipedia.org