The History of Offline Gaming

Games have been a part of life for centuries and can be traced as far back as 3000 BC. Even before humans had developed written language, dice were being used to play games in ancient times. Games have always been a source of amusement for people and on this page, we take a closer look at the history of offline gaming, beginning with board games.

Board Games

Board games were played in ancient Egypt and one of the earliest examples of a board game is Senet. For the upper classes, Senet was played using a decorated board but for the average person, the game was played using a board carved into the ground. Unfortunately, the rules of the game have been lost over time but there are versions available to play using the same theme and pieces. Snakes and Ladders and Chess are two of today’s most popular board games that originated in 200 BC and 600 AD, respectively. It is amazing to think these board games are so old yet are still enjoyed by children and adults today. We now have thousands of board games available to enjoy and playing board games has become extremely popular again in recent times.

Arcade Games

The next step from playing board games was to move the board to a screen. Arcade games can be traced back to the 1970s and the original arcades were mechanical machines featuring basic gameplay. Often found in bars and at amusement parks, arcades quickly became popular and as time and technology advanced, the quality of arcade games improved. Space Invaders and Pac Man are two examples of popular early arcade games. These games saw people leave their homes and board games to play in arcades and the introduction of 3D graphics in the 1980s only added to their appeal. Arcade games are one of the first examples of competitive video gaming and were often designed to allow people to play against each other.

Home Consoles

The rise of home consoles saw a decline in the number of people wanting to go out and play arcade games. Many of the classic arcade game titles were made available on home consoles and people could play the games for free using a console whenever they liked. The console game developers specifically made arcade style games for their machines, with Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat being two examples. These games played much like arcade games in that you would start the game at the first level and work your way through each fighter until the final fight. Losing a fight would mean having to go back to the beginning, as you would when playing an arcade game. People got together in homes and played video games together and by having two controllers, competitive video gaming was available in the home.

Handheld Devices

The next step for offline gaming was the introduction of handheld consoles. The major video gaming companies, including Nintendo, Sega, and Sony all introduced handheld devices and they became extremely popular in the early 1990s. There was no need to have a console connected to a television to play video games, the screen was built into the handheld device meaning games could be played anywhere. Nintendo dominated the early handheld gaming market thanks to the Game Boy and continue to enjoy a significant market share.

Gaming using mobile phones emerged in the late 1990s, with the launch of Snake on Nokia handsets. Thanks to the internet, we can now take our pick from millions of games online, with some popular offline games of the past, such as sweepstakes, available to play on the internet. The introduction of mobile gaming applications has made it possible to play at real money online sweepstake casinos in addition to many other types of games. Gaming has moved from offline to online in a big way, but many people still enjoy playing board games and using retro consoles without the need of an internet connection.


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