Ethan Kranert – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Old and vintage video games are an important part of America’s modern cultural history.

Every year, big video game titles are released to large fanfare and garner long lines on launch day.

However, with all the new releases, it is important to look back on the history of games.

For example, Electronic Arts (EA) has been making the popular “Madden” games since 1998, when it was named John Madden Football after hall of fame football coach John Madden.

Some older video games that have shaped our culture today have unfortunately fallen into semi-obscurity, though.

One example of this is the game ‘Spacewar!’, a space combat game that was designed for the PDP-1, an early computer.

LRHS esports coach and reading teacher Kari Keech-Babcock said, “I have so many memories of watching my dad play Doom, my sister play Metal Gear Solid, and my friends playing Resident Evil when I was in third grade.”

“I feel the original games gave a great foundation to what we play today,” Keech-Babcock continued. “The first video games like ‘Pong’ and ‘Tank,’ laid the foundation for gaming to be competitive and not a solo activity. You can see hints of why the evolution of gaming turned to such a streaming sport just by the fact that originally if you weren’t playing you were watching someone else play beside you.”

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Newer games can also come from unexpected, older origins. For example, modern titles like ‘The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild’ and ‘Hogwarts: Legacy’ originate from open world games like ‘Mercenary’, a 1985 game for the Atari systems.

Popular games, old and new, also provide opportunities for people to make new friends.

Junior Elena Hernandez said, “Video games, like ‘Hogwarts: Legacy,’ extend a big fandom and allows people to make new friends due to their interests.”

Without the earliest iterations of video games, modern competitive games would be impossible to create.