Whether footballer, swordsman or plumber: in a video game we can slip into any role. In the first part of our series you will read how Super Mario and Co. conquered the world - and why gaming is not always harmless.

What is a video game?

In general: an electronic game played on a screen. Video games can be divided into computer games that are played on a PC at home and console games that require special devices, such as consoles such as the Playstation or Wii. Often these are simply connected to the television. There are also arcade games that run on slot machines. And smartphone games, apps designed for the smartphone.

How long have video games been around?

Physicist Thomas Goldsmith Jr. applied for the first patent in 1947. In his game, the player has to hit a target with a beam of light. In 1952 an English student developed the game "OXO", a type of the "tic-tac-toe" known today. The winner is whoever is the first to line up three crosses. And in 1958 the American William Higinbotham invented the game "Tennis for Two" (translated: "Tennis for two"). Two players hit a tennis ball back and forth on the screen.
These first games are hardly known, however. For a long time, computers were only available at large universities. Video games therefore only made their breakthrough in the 1970s, when companies in America installed slot machines in supermarkets. In 1972 the Atari company released "Pong", a successor to Tennis for Two. It is considered the first globally successful video game.

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