Tennis for Two with Mario

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Did you know?

The first video game ever created was played on a machine called an oscilloscope during the Cold War in 1958. An oscilloscope is used to measure the voltage and frequency of an electric signal.

The man to thank for it all is William Higinbotham, he called the game “Tennis for Two” in which a ball represented by light would bounce from one side of the oscilloscope to the other over a vertical light representing the net.

William Higinbotham regretted being known more for creating the first video game rather than his work on nuclear non-proliferation. In-which he stood opposed for the spread of nuclear weapons helping create the “Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” enforced in 1970.

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What makes a game “good”, Mario style?

It has always been an interesting and heated discussion about what makes a good game, or even buying a game in the first place, from its playability, characters, storyline, replay ability, constant updates, achievements, and franchise and advertisement portrayal.

I asked people that work at game stores, people on gaming forums and people that play games on Youtube. They all come up with different opinions, the most popular responses are “the game has to be challenging”, “the storyline of the game needs to make sense” and “If I enjoy playing the game then it doesn’t really matter”, some I agree with and some I do not.

I have always been a fan of the Mario franchise (Mario has appeared in over 200 games and sold over 210 million units, 2009) and so have a lot of other people that I talk to. I hear about the “linear format” of the games, the “idea of always being the hero”, the “multiplayer aspect”, the “nostalgia aspect” and even the different characters that share a unique relationship style to Mario.

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The Mario Games expand over a lot of different genres such as platform, puzzle, racing, party, role-playing and sports. With-in each genre there is multiple games which follow directly after each other, such as the party games, Mario Party, Mario Party 2, Mario Party 3 etc. all the way to Mario Party 9. The basic idea of the games is the same.  Four players travel around a board, designed with positive and negative events, playing mini-games, battling it out to gather the most of the desired object, stars and coins most of the time, with the player with the most wins.

The image of Mario has been a financial success, both in Japan and internationally. Mario has become a culturally identity when talking about video games and the advancement in modern gaming.

I had asked a group of 14 years olds what comes to mind when talking about gaming, the majority responded with “Mario” and also his failthful companion “Yoshi”, who is a dinosaur.

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Extra Links:

William Higinbotham:

http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/03/07/030712-opinions-history-tennis-egan-1-3/

The popularity of Mario:

http://inventorspot.com/mario_video_game

The History of Mario, Youtuber commentary:

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