Classic games and Retro video games have been around long enough that now much of the accessories and titles that were being used and played back in the 80s and 90s are now highly sought-after collectables.
However, in many cases the origins of such games go back even further, with many inspired by historical influences that date back hundreds or even thousands of years. Here we take a look at the historical origins of some the games that are still favorites of today’s online gaming community.
Chess is a game that dates back further than almost any other, although its exact origins are disputed by scholars
Ancient Classics Have History to Burn
While most video games were first brought to life at the turn of the internet age, there were others which had existed for a long time before dial-up or broadband connections came along.
These tend to come in the form of card, board, and strategy games, many of which were played centuries ago in Arab souks, Chinese dynasty palaces, and on European galleys. Of course, since those days many such games have found their way online, maintaining their popularity despite their age.
The beginnings of modern chess as players know it today were in North India, where a game then known as Chaturanga consisted of playing pieces with varying capabilities, the most important of which was the king. However, there are other games from Arabia and Asia which also claim to be the forefathers of chess. The origins of poker are just as contested as those of chess, but at least there is some certainty around how the suits found on a poker game’s deck of cards came to be. It was the French who first came up with the idea of trèfles (clubs), carreaux (diamonds), coeurs (hearts), and piques (spades) which began appearing around 1500 or just before. Meanwhile, backgammon is another ancient game that is still going great guns today. It was first brought to life in what used to be known as Mesopotamia, which is now part of the country of Iraq. The Romans then further developed the game after having come across it on their travels.
Pac-Man’s History Steeped in a Wish for Less Violence
Even as far back as the 1980s there were some video game designers who were worried about the fact that too many video games were based around some form of violence.
That was what inspired Japanese designer Toru Iwatani to create Pac-Man, whose focus was more on gobbling up food rather than letting bullets fly.
The result was one of the most played games in history and one that still influences games of all varieties to this day, such as Pac-Man 99 for the Nintendo Switch.
New versions of the arcade classic that is Pac-Man are still being released all the time as new generations of gamers fall in love with this pixelated icon of the gaming world
Space Invaders Has Intergalactic Beginnings
While Pac-Man was born of a desire to see more wholesome gameplay for people to enjoy, movies have also had a profound effect on their gaming counterparts.
Before the days of there being tie-ins between movie and gaming franchises, there were games developers who were putting their own spin on the motion pictures they saw come out of Hollywood and other film studios around the world.
One of these was Tomohiro Nishikado, who took his love for Star Wars and The War of the Worlds and turned it into the smash hit game, Space Invaders. Every space-based video game since has paid homage in some degree to this button bashing arcade classic.
Ludo – Made in India
When it came to developing classic games that have stood the test of time, India really was one of the powerhouses.
One such game that is exploding online and particularly among mobile gamers is Ludo. This was originally called Pachisi in 6th century India and went on to conquer the hearts of European gamers soon thereafter, a feat it continues to achieve to this day.