Television

Discovery takes an in-depth look at the video gaming industry

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MUMBAI: The video game revolution, underway for decades, has progressed from simple amusements created in the 1950s to an all-pervasive force in today's popular culture that rivals films and television. What began as a sub-culture pastime has evolved and transcended genres to become a e form of expression impacting everything from modern warfare to interpersonal relationships. Discovery will give viewers an insight at this successful multi-billion dollar behemoth in the show I, Videogame.

The show will air eevry Thursday at 10 pm from 1 March 2007.

The show will explore the past, present and future of video games and video gamers. Featuring interviews with giants in the gaming industry of yesterday and today, this five-part series examines the evolution of the videogame and its cultural impact on the world of entertainment today.

From the early days of Pong to today's ever-popular Halo 2 and from Atari 2600 to Nintendo and PlayStation, the show narrates the story of the people, their ideologies, the technology behind video games and how it exploded into a cultural phenomenon.

The first episode shows how the concept of the video game came into being. In the 1950s, the Cold War quickly evolved between the world super powers of the United States and the Soviet Union. Mutually assured destruction enforced an uneasy stalemate, yet also drove computer technology to create missile simulations in order to predict the results of a nuclear war.

This same computer technology was used to develop the first computer game in 1958 - Tennis for Two. The space race and Vietnam coincided with Steve Russell's game Space War and the emergence of the first true giants in the video game business - Nolan Bushnell and Atari. Space Invaders and Pac-Man soon followed, and the Golden Age of videogames was born. Video games emerged as a form of entertainment where the player was in control, as opposed to the more passive diversion of watching television.

The second episode looks at the scene in the late 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Instead of controlling things like spaceships and tennis rackets, video game technology let players command recognisable characters with real faces and back stories. Game developers were liberated to create more complex videogames with heroic journeys - and Japanese creators like Shigeru Miyamoto rose to prominence with star characters Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda.

But in the 1990s, Generation X emerged and the games of their childhood couldn't satisfy the new teen angst that now permeated pop culture. With Sega's Genesis and Sony's PlayStation, gamers dismissed cute cartoon characters in favour of grittier heroes like Sonic the Hedgehog and anti-heroes in games like Grand Theft Auto III. This episode features interviews with Trip Hawkins (Silicon Valley entrepreneur and co-founder of Electronic Arts), Al Lowe (creator of Leisure Suit Larry), Tim Schafer (creator of Full Throttle) and other figures in the gaming industry.

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