Gaming through the decades

It’s hard to remember a time without our phones, tablets and consoles, but such an era previously existed and while table-top games are making a comeback, we are fully immersed in a digital age, with our lives dictated by technology. Who knows what the future will hold for the gaming industry but one thing’s for sure, technology will be at the forefront… and it certainly sounds exciting!

Whatever your era and your game of choice, let’s take a look back into yesteryear and see how gaming has changed over the decades.

1980s: the rise of the arcade

Following on from their success in the late 1970s through titles such as Space Invaders and Asteroids, arcades were big business in the ’80s and became dominant in pop culture, too. Pac-Mania was actually a ‘thing’, so much so that Namco named it their final title in the series back in 1987. You didn’t need to look far or hard to find the little yellow creature emblazoned on clothing, lunchboxes or toys – and to some extent, this is even true today! Films were also heavily-influenced by arcade games, with Tron grossing over $33m in 1982 and more recently, Wreck-it Ralph and its sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet hitting our screens in 2012 and 2018, respectively.

Popular (and iconic) games included Pac-Man and Centipede (1980), Donkey Kong (1981) and Donkey Kong Junior (1982). A trip to the arcade was always a social affair, with groups of friends trying to out-do each other on the machines, to see who could record the biggest score, or complete the most levels. Of course, with popularity comes imitation and the market eventually became over-saturated with lots of lesser-quality ‘copycat’ products.

1990s: all the Bs – board games and bingo

Were you even a ’90s kid if you didn’t circle all the board games in the Argos catalogue come Christmas? As we mentioned in the intro, table-top games are making a comeback, thanks to those pesky Millennials, but a games night is the ultimate in low-cost, top-laughs nights in with friends.

Girls loved Dream Phone or Girl Talk at sleepovers; while Taboo was the ultimate ‘adult’ party game; but games like Connect Four, Mouse Trap and Guess Who will always be remembered and even today, remain popular.

For those of a slightly older age, the bingo hall was where it was at – the place you could turn into a safe haven and pay a tenner to have a fun, sociable, but slightly cheesy night out with friends. The previous decade saw the number of bingo halls decline; however, by the ’90s, the market leaders dominated and the market soon settled. The game remained profitable and it wasn’t long until online bingo was introduced.

2000s: consoles, consoles everywhere

Whether it’s Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo, consoles were everywhere in the noughties and if you didn’t have one, well why not? No doubt one of your friends had at least one console so you could go ’round there and get your fix – and maybe even do battle with a multi-player game. We were always team Sony in our household and receiving a PS2 for Christmas 2000 was quite frankly a highlight… well before we got the PS3 seven years later.

Despite the Sony v Microsoft rivalry well and truly kicking off with gaming fans often staying loyal to their favourite brand, all games were available on both platforms so fans never missed out… did you have a PlayStation or an Xbox?

But these weren’t just consoles for gaming, they also featured DVD technology, eventually breaking out into Blu-ray… so you could have a mega-gaming session and follow up by relaxing with a movie!

2010s: the online casino boom

The thought of not having internet in 2019 is an absolute killer and its actually pretty scary to know there’s a generation of people who have never not been without it. However, as long as the internet has been popular, online gaming and gambling has been, too.

We know what you’re thinking, online casinos were effectively around since the ’90s – that’s very true, but they’re increasingly popular today. With smart phones and tablets becoming a part of everyone’s everyday lives, playing is possible from anywhere or any time. Some online casinos specialise in mobile gaming, while most of the big brands will have apps that users can download and log-in to, to get their fix, without relying on websites.

It’s not just the convenience that is desirable, it’s the choice and quality of the games. Whether it’s table games you’re after, fancy a hand of poker, or prefer the thrills of slots, online casinos have all your needs covered, under one roof. And for those who liked the ambience and experience of casinos in the 1990s and 2000s, there’s live casino – the best of both worlds.