Before Cyberpunk: Video games that changed the world

A child plays video game Minecraft at the Minecon convention in London July 5, 2015. — Reuters pic
A child plays video game Minecraft at the Minecon convention in London July 5, 2015. — Reuters pic

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PARIS, Dec 18 — As Sony pulls the much-hyped action role play game Cyberpunk 2077 from PlayStation after complaints of bugs and even a player getting a fit, we look back on gaming history, from “prehistoric” Pac-Man to worlds as limitless as a hacker’s imagination.

Pac-Man (1982)

One of the first consoles to bring the arcade experience to living rooms, Japan’s Atari licenced Pac-Man in 1982. The simple game may seem prehistoric now — a yellow circle head munching a maze of dots — but it would prove to be a bestseller until 1992.

Space Invaders (1982)

This fixed-shooter game that continues to inspire a world-famous street artist Invader pits a horizontally-moving cannon against an ever-descending army of invaders.

Super Mario Bros (1985)

Super Mario, the hyperactive little plumber who has become one of the best-known characters in video game history, debuted in one of the world’s first games that allowed the character to move horizontally through an evolving landscape.

Super Mario Kart (1995)

This racing game with its focus on the multi-player experience is credited with launching its own subgenre of video games. It has been released in eight versions and its 2008 edition for the Nintendo Wii was the best-selling racing game of all time.

Street Fighter II (1995)

The ultra-popular Japanese fighting game came to Nintendo’s GameBoy in 1995 and has been released in multiple forms over the years.

Doom (1993)

In Doom, one of the first ever first-person shooter games, the player is a “space marine” who must fight off the screeching demons along his path to a transporter that will get him off a besieged moon base.

FIFA (1993)

FIFA is the bestselling sports video game of all time with the latest hyper-realistic editions offering a choice of leagues, stadiums, and teams but also players and coaches. (You can even hold a post-match press conference.)

Grand Theft Auto (1997)

Known for its violence (the player can shoot police officers and run over prostitutes), Grand Theft Auto was the first to popularise the “open world” concept. 

Players can go off piste to explore and interact with other characters and the landscape as they see fit.

Grand Theft Auto is also known as the only game ever to receive an adults-only classification.

Zelda (1998)

Sometimes called “the greatest game ever made”, this Japanese action-adventure saga boasts richly-detailed environments and a complex narrative that make it something of an artistic achievement.

But the first version — “Ocarina of Time” — also pioneered the capability to lock on enemies during fights.

Minecraft (2011)

At 200 million copies, Minecraft is the bestselling video game of all time by far.

Beloved by hackers and children alike, Minecraft is based on exploring an infinite realm where players can gather materials (through mining) and use them to create (crafting) — either to stay alive in survival mode or to build whatever they want.

For many, the game functions as a virtual Lego set, and thanks to open-source code, players who access Minecraft through a computer can create their own custom game elements making infinite possible variations.

Fortnite (2017)

Fortnite is a cooperative survival game that is so popular that the launch of its fifth season generated five times more web traffic than the results of Donald Trump winning the US election in 2016.

It boasts some 250 million users worldwide, all of whom could theoretically be interacting with each other at any moment.

Another gamechanger is that players can interact from any device and have the same experience.  

It is also free to play, its billions in revenue generated from players purchasing extras like outfits and dance moves. — AFP

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