Innovators in the Computer Gaming Industry in the USA

Innovations in the development of gameplay technology and interaction are many and varied:

  • Atari, Inc. developed the first arcade video game Pong that enjoyed success across a diverse market spread.
  • Magnavox developed the first gaming console that used cartridges.
  • 8-bit graphics were developed by the Video Computer System using ROM chips. Later the company became recognized as Atari 2600.
  • IBM, the Commodore 64, and Macintosh became some of the first home pc computers used for gaming and boasted 256-color graphics and ushered in the development of sound cards.
  • Milton Bradley Company developed hand held game consoles that worked with removable cartridges.
  • Nintendo replaced the joystick with the hand held controller called joy pads or gamepads.
  • Mega Drive/Genesis and the Super Nintendo introduced gamers to the first 16-bit graphics.
  • The PlayStation presented the use of the CD-ROM in lieu of cartridges for storing game content.
  • Nintendo’s Nintendo 64 was the first developer to seize the market’s interest in 3D platform games.
  • Sony and Nintendo continued to compete and develop the increased capacity of smaller storage units in the form of mini-DVDs that could also display movie content in addition to game content on consoles.
  • Sony and Nintendo also introduced alternative controllers for unique gameplay interaction using motion capture and various devices such as floor mats, steering wheels, nun chuks, wands and floor mats.
  • Microsoft was the first to introduce the use of HDMI connections for high definition graphics displays of game content as well as downloadable content, companion online gameplay options, online sales platforms for purchase and streaming of content and integrated networking capabilities for gaming with others across the globe. PlayStation 3 by Sony soon followed.
  • Nintendo’s Wii was the innovator of motion capture technology and game play integration.

Recent Innovators in the Gaming Industry in the USA Motion Gaming

Started by the Nintendo Wii and followed by Sony's PlayStation Move and Xbox's Kinect. Gameplay interaction of motion capture is easy to grasp for casual and more serious gamers. Popular Mechanics introduces future possibilities for gamers by showing off the concept of the new MotionScan technology. Using MotionScan technology some game developers has even allowed players the ability to BE the character by using their own reactions and actions to change the player character's face.

Virtual Controls

The Massachusetts Technological University students have developed a glove that allows wearers to manipulate objects in real time by transferring movements and consequences of movements to virtual time. This has the potential to be used for immersive gameplay interaction. The Keyo University in Japan has created the same technology by use of a helmet, gloves and a jacket. When the items are worn by a user a robot mimics the user's actions.

3D Graphic Technology

Graphics Updates include the attempts of software developers to bring more realism to gameplay interaction. The field of physics is used to provide immersion via realistic interactions with obstacles, terrain and other entities. This technology focuses on increased frame rates per second and increased power of the computer processing speed which lead the market to developing 3D graphic technology capability.

Development of Computer Intelligence

Computer intelligence plays a factor in game play. As the technological development of computers improved, the artificial intelligence in games increased the capacity of a game to provide a challenge. It started in Pong and is developing into what is called real life warfare. The development of AI continues to be an ongoing improvement by game research and development teams.

Innovation ensures the continuing success of the computer gaming industry in the USA

The industry started with vibrating controllers using dual shock technology in response to events that transpired in the game world. Wireless technology was the next game changing element to evolve. Pushing the boundaries yet again, game consoles like the Wii incorporated electronic eyes to expand upon the interaction of gamers using wands and motions realistically mimicking the actual action needed to implement an object or item displayed on the screen. Motion capture electronic devices evolved further so that a console like Kinect could use motion capture of the gamer to create changes in the game with a truly virtual experience unlike any other.

Use of a controller to control actions displayed during the game play assisted in the development of hand eye coordination as well as improved the ability of gamers to assess situations more quickly and accurately than non-gamers. With the Wii came the added benefit of filtering and allowing sensory input to be controlled and introduced by occupational therapists to patients with conditions such as autism. Innovative breakthroughs in the gaming industry come from finding new ways to develop and market gaming hardware and software not traditionally associated with an industry identified by leisure and entertainment.

In the USA, for example, the STEM initiative was the motivation behind the National STEM Video Game Challenge. The game developers and the software interaction pitched and presented at the challenge focused on objectives such as storytelling abilities and business sense as well as educational norms. The games were the medium through which the gamers learned problem solving techniques and how to apply their skills. Innovation through challenge develops skills and society appreciates a skilled individual.

From the standpoint of game play interaction new innovators of the USA gaming industry are emerging from the ranks of those interested in art but also science, technology, engineering and math. The gaming industry is not only interesting to gamers but also to corporations, governments and educators. Games hold potential for technological developments that will improve the future outside of the entertainment realm.

No longer do the days exist where video games are associated with children or slackers. Games have moved beyond controlling simple figures on the screen with one's thumbs. Now motion capture and virtual technologies have allowed games to bring innovative advancements to domains such as physical therapy and mental development.