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Early video games in the west

Games played on the computer were started a few years ago, at the time that "Star Wars" movies and the Vietnam War era was ending, and the companies making the games made themes which now can be seen to be appropriate and important in influencing the society's culture. In the west television and movies were a new entertainment which seemed inexhaustible. Intelligent computer programmers in USA and Asia designed games which reflected the technology as it was developed, as well as improve upon cultural motifs. As is now becoming apparent, the interactive games are now preferable by many to passive entertainment of television and movies. Several games developed by Japanese companies working in the USA and purely American companies made some memorable games at that time worthy of note. The themes developed even by American computer games contribute to the overall games culture, even more prevalent today on the internet.

People enthusiastic at games note that the influence of the games is strong in children. This is for good or for bad influence, it is there. Japanese companies often used influence in games secretly by changing names or creating new companies with newer games. They could raise a lot of money by a few people, but like western culture, the games which people buy were the most violent or bad in influence. The older games came out of American culture and there can be little doubt that they were American. Simple games such as Pac-man or Donkey Kong were played on a screen of the computer which the player moved around and there was little variation.

"Punch-out" by Nintendo related games with American sport of boxing at the time. This important game revealed to people in the west how the sport of boxing was really showing what the American culture lacked in black people. The sport would soon bring the Asian strength in fighting to the USA where the spirit would become like the black boxers who came later. Getting back to the game, the characters began with "Glass Joe," advancing to "Piston Hurricane," and thirdly to "Bald Bull." These would be more than enough for most gamers. The sequence of opponents, player fighting computer boxer, puts into minds of children the development of the country as well as a humorous picture of people.

The game "Gladiator" by Taito was another important game which came about at this time, though appealing more to Asian than American people. It also shows how the subjects of games often are linked or copied from other games, in a way of communication. In this game the player again fights a computer person, with sword and shield at the time of the Romans. Humorously, it is meant to be a difficult game which basically comes to random movements which are hard to predict. With more practice, the skill in fighting the game does not improve much. Interspersed are periods in which random flying objects fly at the player from off the screen, fire and metal shrapnel. The player has no idea where these are coming from, but they will hurt the player if they hit him. Later games later used these fire and metal objects as "fireballs" which fighters would throw from their hands, originated from this. The fighting games of today with many more varieties came from this idea, American games but developed into Japanese characters and plots.

(from Winston Cho, 07.26,2005)

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