Wall Street might have to make room for a very familiar face. Some know him as Mario, to others he goes by the company name of Nintendo. Lately video games have been bringing in millions of dollars in revenue, creating life-long careers in development, and colleges are even introducing degree programs to be video game programmers and designers. In today’s world video games go beyond its arcade background and are expanding from being your simple entertainment system to a multi-media, multi-purpose machines.

Back in the days of the 1960’s early MIT students developed a game to be played between two human players on early computer mainframes. On man involved was Atari founder, Ralph Baer.

Ralph took the game and fixed its glitches and changed it into what was know as the first coin operated game, “Computer Space”.

Soon after its success in small bars and venues Ralph was called upon to start marketing and producing a home version to be played. This is where the legendary pong came into play. Pong soon became to be so popular that many people wanted more of the new entertainment and then the Atari was born. As you know Atari is like the mother of all video games. Even when the Atari was let out of it cage so to speak, pinball machines and other various arcade style fun was still ruling the world. Arcades soon developed more and more and games were popping up such as Pac-man and space invaders.

The Atari took those games and made home versions of the famed games. Soon after the big wave of home video game systems, arcades were losing their hype and then a new champion of video games would arise and knock Atari out of its crowned spot. Nintendo released its famous 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System or as many know, the NES.

The NES was a huge hit being the first game of its time to have 8-bit graphics. Every game before on the Atari was so blocky, this time around the Nintendo had a much closer to the arcade version look. Many games were released, quite a few which were created from movies as opposed to Atari failure, E.T. As the NES traveled through the times of the late 80’s and moving on into the 90’s, the company who released the NES, Nintendo, decided to expand. The foundation and impact the NES had with its trademark games created a bridge and a vision. That vision was to expand into better graphics and more interactive game play. In 1991 Nintendo released what they called the “Super Nintendo Entertainment System” or “Super Nintendo”.

This time around they released 16-bit graphics so everything was getting more smooth and more and more visually entertaining. Everything was going well for Nintendo except for one problem, another video game console was released, the Sega Genesis.

Back and forth each company battled for the top spot at the best home entertainment system. Each fought back with gimmicks such as Sega showing blood in games,

Nintendo vouching its super scope gun for more interactive play and better graphics.

Back and forth the consoles fought until Sega ran out of options to keep up with Nintendo and then its day was done. Even during this time hand held games were becoming just as popular as its TV hook-up fathers. Sega and Nintendo each released their own versions. Again Nintendo beat out the Sega with its games and features.

(it isn't handheld in the pic but it was funny and cool!)

As time and time rolled on more and more technology becomes accessible and the games keep getting predominantly greater with increased interactivity and better visual graphics. The year is about 1998 and the technology is amazing. We went from sticking little cartridges into your systems to now we have compact disks with our games on them, sometimes in more than one disk of gaming! The Playstation was the second console to utilize this feature of more storage for the game meaning bigger games, and also allowed for a very useful feature which was full action videos being placed in games.

Cut scenes as they became to be known were placed and had picture and video frame quality very close to Hollywood videos. The Playstation also did for console systems another milestone marker, it introduced multi-purpose functions. The Playstation not only played its games, it also played cd’s from your own music collection. You could put in your favorite cd and listen to it. If you didn’t have a cd player this was a big thing. Gaming systems are becoming so advanced, they have multi-purpose functions. As time goes by and obviously as technology advances each system becomes more and more impressive with introduction of dvd playing capabilities and in the next generation of consoles, wireless internet connectivity with web surfing capability.

Because of all these new functions for one mere system, one would never really need much else to do when you could get the best of everything in one spot. Theaters are actually making less money than the video game industry is. The industry is becoming so huge that Microsoft is even involved now. Today gaming is such a business driven industry just as much as Hollywood and fashion designing is. In today’s world video games are growing so much that colleges are adopting programs to help train you to get your degree in video game designing and programming.

This pattern is only predicted to get bigger as more and more people fall into gaming and its features. Jobs, home functions, and entertainment all in one field, you kind of have to know at least a little about it. In today’s world of the auto industry winding down to being not as productive as it used to be, video games could soon be the new replacement of that position. Soon the video game industry will be in everyone’s lives just as much as television or movies is. Kind of makes you wonder, will Mario soon be trading in his red and blue overhauls for a nice dress suit and tie. We will soon find out.