This Month in Video Gaming – October

This Month in Video Gaming – October

Video games have become an entertainment staple and a popular holiday gift, making October a prime month for video game releases, so we decided to devote our October "This Month in Technology" post to video gaming history.

October 8, 1992 — Controversial "Mortal Kombat" Arrives in Arcades

The arcade version of  pioneering fight game "Mortal Kombat" game is released by Midway, spawning a series of games released to nearly every home video game platform. It remains one of the most populate fighting games in the genre’s history and was adapted as a film in 1995. Known for extreme violence and gore using realistic digitized graphics, it sparked controversy and resulted in the introduction of age-specific content ratings for video games.

October 10, 1980 — Pac-Man Fever Begins

Pac-Man was first released by Midway to arcades in North America on this day. It quickly became a icon of 80’s pop-culture and is one of the most famous video games of all time.  More than 350,000 Pac-Man arcade cabinets were sold in the first 18 months and by 1982 nearly 7 billion quarters had been used to play the game. The Pac-Man character has appeared in more than 30 officially licensed spin-offs, including the equally popular Ms. Pac-Man. It is included in the collections of the Smithsonian and New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

October 14, 1977 — Atari Introduces VCS

Video Computer System (known as the VCS and later as the Atari 2600) is released by home video gaming pioneer, Atari. By 1997 it was the best-selling Christmas gift that season. It popularized game cartridges containing the game code. Earlier systems could only play games physically built into the unit. The system was originally priced at $199 ($786 adjusted for inflation) and shipped with 2 joysticks and a "Combat" cartridge.

October 18, 1958 - First Electronic Video Game

William Higinbotham, a physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, demonstrated a tennis simulator game he called “Tennis for Two.” It was developed on a Donner Model 30 analog computer using an oscilloscope and is known as the first electronic game to use a graphical display. The game was only shown twice during the laboratory’s annual visitor’s day, but hundreds lined up to play the game.