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Rise of the Video Game

Premier :: 2007-11-21

Airs :: Wednesday 8:00 PM on Discovery

Genre :: Documentary

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The video game revolution has been under way for decades, progressing from simple amusements created in the 1950s to an all-pervasive force in today's popular culture that rivals — and will perhaps soon surpass — film and television. What began as a subculture pastime has evolved and transcended genres to become a unique form of expression impacting everything from modern warfare to interpersonal relationships. Rise of the Video Game is a comprehensive and progressive exploration of the past, present and future of video games and video gamers. From the early days of Pong to today's ever-popular Halo 2, and from Atari 2600 to Nintendo to PlayStation, Rise of the Video Game tells the story of the people, the ideologies and the technology behind video games and how they have exploded into a cultural phenomenon. The evolution of gaming has seen the pendulum move from the days of games replicating society, to society replicating games. Featuring interviews with giants in the gaming industry of yesterday and today, this five-part series examines the evolution of the video game and its cultural impact on the world of entertainment today.

Latest Episode

Series 1 - Episode 5 - Level 5
Aired - 19 December 2007

Episode summary:

The advent of the Internet has changed everything — including videogames. When ARPNET, a military precursor to the Internet, went live in 1969, gamers almost immediately began using this new technology for gaming. But what began as text-based adventure games called MUDs (multi-user dungeons) quickly evolved into graphic-based online adventure games called MMOs (massively multi-player online games). Millions worldwide have battled together and against one another in the latest genre of videogame. From Ultima Online to the most successful MMO of all time, World of Warcraft, gamers now are attracted to virtual second lives as they battle friends and foes across the globe from the safety of their home computers. In the virtual world, gamers have found they can be anyone or anything. The ability to reinvent oneself virtually has become an irresistible experience for many, and has some critics wondering whether the line between the real world and the virtual world has become dangerously blurred. Many gamers spend more time in the virtual world than the real world, but they argue that the virtual experiences of MMOs are still human experiences simply delivered via the latest wave of technology — the videogame. This episode includes interviews with Cory Ondrejka (chief technology officer at Linden Lab) and Richard Bartle (British writer and game researcher best known for being the co-author of MUD).

Watch Episodes Online - Episode Guide

+ Series 1

+ Episode - 5 Level 5 Aired - 19 December 2007
+ Episode - 4 Level 4 Aired - 12 December 2007
+ Episode - 3 Level 3 Aired - 05 December 2007
+ Episode - 2 Level 2 Aired - 28 November 2007
+ Episode - 1 Level 1 Aired - 21 November 2007

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