Play is something that we humans do, naturally. We start playing as early as infants and by the time we are 3 months old we begin to see everything as toys and our parents, our first playmates – because that is how we learn and discover the world around us.
Our first games would probably include Peek-a-Boo. 🙂 Game, is of course, a structured form of play which are usually undertaken for fun or entertainment, and sometimes as an educational tool – a structured learning activity for both the young and the old.
Growing up as part of Generation X here in the Philippines, we are privileged to have seen the global transition of games and play from offline to online. The creation of personal computers and the internet has changed the “playing field” – literally.
My introduction to game play is of traditional in nature. I was fortunate to have been part of the group that was able to engage in various games that our parents and parents’ parents engaged in during their days.
Here’s a list of some of the games I remember playing when I was a child back in the 80s and early 90s:
- Taguan or Hanapan-Tao
- Sipaan Bola
- Tumbang Preso
- Agawan Base
- Luksong Baka/Tinik
- Sipa, Turumpo, Piko, Chinese Garter, etc.
Now, while I am deeply engaged in these traditional Filipino games with my childhood friends, I am also being introduced to video games both in arcades and then later on at home with a Family Computer.
Now video games has been around since the 1940s but the golden age is probably during the 1980s. Developed in 1971, Computer Space and Galaxy Games are credited as the very first arcade games in the world but it was the game Pong that took the world by storm, followed by Japan’s Space Invaders. Soon more games are available everywhere and to every homes courtesy of Atari and its joystick and other brands like Mattel’s Intellivision.
In the 80s, we’ve seen the birth of classic and well-loved video games like Pacman, Mario Brothers, Legend of Zelda and other games that sets the bar high for video games played at home using Nintendo’s Family Computer, Game & Watch and later on the Gameboy.
Almost every kid I know has had their hands on a Game & Watch and have played games like Parachute, Octopus, Popeye, Donkey Kong, and many others.
In the 90s, Sega and Sony Play Station gives us an upgrade on home game play while arcade games remain popular and more immersive. During that time, games like Resident Evil, Doom, Stracraft, Half-Life, Diablo, Pokemon, Silent Hill, Tomb Raider, Warcraft, Time Crisis, Tekken, Street Fighter, and many others have been in the buzz in malls or at home.
With internet connection getting up more speed, PC and internet games took the lead out from console games before the end of the first decade of the new millennium. And the years after that, game developers turned to smart phones and mobile gaming apps as its new platform.
The earliest game that I’ve played in a PC was the card game Solitaire and Minesweeper, which are both bundled in Microsoft Windows. SimCity on the other hand sets the tone for future simulation PC games like Minecraft, Farmville, and many others.
For those who are feeling a bit nostalgic and are looking for the best of both the old and new world of games, I have found this site called plays.org that offers free multi-platform browser-based online games that are reminiscent of the ones that we used to play when we were kids. They’ve got so many titles from different categories like arcade, retro pixels, base defense, pinballs and even basic simulation games.
Here are a couple of games that I’ve tried:
Now, some of the newest multiplayer games in the market today qualifies as an eSport where competitions are held annually and internationally like PUBG, League of Legends, DOTA 2, Mobile Legends, and more.
But the future of games and play is really augmented reality. We’ve seen this in Niantic and Nintendo’s Pokemon Go and Jurassic World Alive. Yes. there are still much to be desired or improved with these AR games, but it’s already here and like with the retro games I’ve found in plays.org, it’s here to stay!
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