#1 Posted by Nate (705 posts) -

This coming January I'm teaching a class called video games: history and critical thinking. In a couple weeks I'm going to be putting together a booth for our winter ribfest where students can move around and get a feel for each of the classes offered. One of the things I thought would be cool is actually having a couple video games for people to play at the booth just to draw some attention. What games do you feel would work best for this purpose? I need games that are both historically significant and able to be played in one quick session. For example Chronotrigger would be a terrible choice for this whereas super Mario Brothers or Pong would be fine.
I thought about maybe having bionic commando the original as well as bionic commando rearmed right next to it. I also thought Super Mario Brothers might be good

#2 Edited by AhmadMetallic (18954 posts) -

It depends on your preferences and platform of choice, really.. To me, video game history is Commander Keen, Doom and Max Payne. All three are easy and fun to pick up and play for a short period, on a portable laptop.

#3 Posted by Nate (705 posts) -

Whoops. I accidentally hit post before I was finished and can't figure out how to edit my post on the mobile site. I should clarify this is just a two-week course for high schoolers. And it's not winter ribfest it's winterim so the event is called Winterimfest. Though I do love what iOS auto correct did with it :) so, just thought I'd throw this out there to the GB community. What would you demo if it were yours?

#4 Posted by Nate (705 posts) -
@AhmadMetallic Ooh. I like those ideas. Especially Commander Keen or Doom.
#5 Posted by ImpendingFoil (555 posts) -

Mario 64 would be a big one as one of the first 3D platform games and really the first successful one.

#6 Posted by Djnuttty (138 posts) -

Street Fighter next to Street Fighter 4? Sonic The Hedgehog? Zelda?

#7 Posted by ImpendingFoil (555 posts) -

I think other important games would also be Street Fighter II, Halo, F-Zero, Sonic, Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Half-Life, Pac-Man, Mortal Kombat and Myst.

I can think of a bunch of others and I think you are really gimping yourself by only trying to user shorter games. I think you could demo any game in a short period of time if you set it up right. It is kind of unfortunate that some of the most important games in history are a little long.

#8 Posted by mosespippy (4286 posts) -

I would say Wolfenstein 3D is demoable and significant enough. Possibly Tetris, but wouldn't it be a bit redundant? Hasn't everybody attending this event played tetris already and know what it is. They might not know the history behind it or the importance but they don't need a demo.

#9 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

Galgun.

#10 Edited by Djnuttty (138 posts) -

Metal Gear, Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4?

Just read it back, I'm being silly now.

#11 Edited by Akyho (1677 posts) -

If you are going to do pong, do it the very first incarnation! Program an oscillator to play pong!!

You are going to need to choose your games wisely. I was at a Game's history exhibit with a group (anime club....) and the 30 people ended up just sitting down and playing either Street Fighter 4 or Pong on the old console from the 70s. They were utterly perplexed as to how to get it to work I was 22 at the time and I had had one I am 24 now. My first console you could say?

So I taught them about resetting and the different game modes and they were very interested in it....what they were not was the plethora of games history sitting in the room.

The old Game Watches, Getting to jam your face into a virtual boy! the Sega Motion controller for the Megadrive/Genesis, Super scope! Of which in past a friend tried to hook it up to my snes, we found out it was just terrible.....

So much things I got to see or try first hand....nope they were all just crowded around playing games.

#12 Posted by Bane122 (801 posts) -

Super Mario Bros.

Mario 64

Halo 1

Wolfenstein

Resident Evil (maybe too long)

Legend of Zelda

Command and Conquer

Metroid

Street fighter 2 (maybe best as a comparison to 1)

MGS1 (not what you think of for small chunk-gaming but just the helipad in the beginning is a great example of what it was doing different)

Virtua fighter

F-Zero or something for mode-7

#13 Edited by believer258 (11995 posts) -

Just how far back are you talking? There are so many games that I could suggest between the late '70's and early '80's arcades to '90's 3D graphics. Half-Life, Doom, Pac-Man, Halo, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario 64 (both are extremely relevant), Pong, Asteroids, Galaga...

EDIT: Also, would there be any copyright problems with having them there for people to play?

#14 Posted by forkboy (1166 posts) -

Jet Set Willy

Online
#15 Posted by Nate (705 posts) -
@ImpendingFoil I'm just going to have a controller or two sitting there for the kids to play. So it's not that it has to be a super short game it just has to be something that is easy to pick up and play for 30 seconds before they are distracted by friends and move on to other tablesThe event is just going to be in our gymnasium and there'll be lots of table set up for kids to mill around and check out the choices for winterim classes. It's going to be a bit of a zoo.
@Akyho I didn't explain very well what I meant by demo a game. See above.
@believer258 no limits on how far back. In the actual course I'll be starting all the way back with pinball, which isn't even really a video game.
#16 Posted by gamefreak9 (2372 posts) -

@Nate said:

@ImpendingFoil I'm just going to have a controller or two sitting there for the kids to play. So it's not that it has to be a super short game it just has to be something that is easy to pick up and play for 30 seconds before they are distracted by friends and move on to other tablesThe event is just going to be in our gymnasium and there'll be lots of table set up for kids to mill around and check out the choices for winterim classes. It's going to be a bit of a zoo.

30 second hero! :p

#17 Posted by TheHBK (5507 posts) -

I would demo Adventure for the Atari 2600. Significant game if you ask me.

Super Mario 64

Quake

Elder Scrolls Arena or Daggerfall

Age of Empires 2

#18 Edited by frankfartmouth (1018 posts) -

I think Super Mario Bros is a must. Then something completely different like Doom or Halo, and then maybe a newer indie game to show how that side of gaming has bubbled up. I don't know what showing the original Bionic Commando and then Rearmed together would show other than updated graphics. The games are essentially the same. And that's not really a very historically significant franchise anyway next to something like Mario, Zelda, Pac-Man, Doom, or Half-Life. Bionic Commando has a place, but I'd say only if you had quite a few slots to fill.

#19 Posted by Akyho (1677 posts) -

@Nate said:

@Akyho I didn't explain very well what I meant by demo a game. See above.

Oh yeah, I understood I was just giving a cautionary tale of what can happen, If you decided to showcase some games to play on the side of Demoing.

#20 Edited by Ducksworth (662 posts) -

Aside from the obvious games like Mario and Pong, I think having a video of Tennis For Two could be interesting. You could talk about how it took up something the size of a microwave oven where as now you have something like a console which can pump out comparatively amazing visuals. You could also show off an evolution of the game by having pictures/videos of pong, Tennis (NES), Mario Tennis, Wii Sports and Virtua Tennis. Wolfenstein 3D or Starfox is also another thing that could be interesting, show them primitive 3D then maybe show them something from Playstation and talk about the fall of cartridges and rise of CD's. Lots of really cool things you could show off.

Just thought of another one. Showing off Atari Pac-man and Aracade Pac-man side by side as a lead into the gaming crash is something that might grab peoples interest as well. That could give you an opportunity to talk about home PC's and the introduction of the NES.

#21 Posted by MasturbatingestBear (1192 posts) -

I'd say to pick some of the earliest/biggest games that got their respective genre started.

Doom for fps, SM64 for 3d platformers, Street Fighter 2 for fighting games. Stuff like that. Those are all quick and easy to show off too.

#22 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

Haze

#23 Posted by Nate (705 posts) -

@Sploder said:

Haze

Oh. Good Lord.

#24 Edited by Nate (705 posts) -

@frankfartmouth said:

I think Super Mario Bros is a must. Then something completely different like Doom or Halo, and then maybe a newer indie game to show how that side of gaming has bubbled up. I don't know what showing the original Bionic Commando and then Rearmed together would show other than updated graphics. The games are essentially the same. And that's not really a very historically significant franchise anyway next to something like Mario, Zelda, Pac-Man, Doom, or Half-Life. Bionic Commando has a place, but I'd say only if you had quite a few slots to fill.

Good point. I guess I just frickin love those games and find the re-make of classics pretty cool in general. Rearmed is one of the finest remakes ever done in my opinion. A true homage to the original and yet improved on it in some meaningful ways. Still, you are right. They did not make a very big splash in terms of being historically significant.

@TheHBK: Ooh. An elder scrolls game would be cool given the fact that most of these kids have played Skryim. Showing them where it all started might be cool. On an semi-related note, I got a Skyrim quest marker laminated and I'm planning to wear it over my head at the event. That should turn some heads :)

@Bane122: Great suggestions. Virtua fighter would be pretty sweet if I can get a Saturn emulator working.

@believer258: This whole thing is pretty murky in terms of copyright law. I'm not concerned about it though. I'll be using emulators for most of this stuff anyway. I tried to get some original consoles donated (or even lent) from folks in the school community but haven't had much luck. All I've got is a semi functional C64, a SNES, PS2, PS3, and 360. And some old PCs to run emulators on. I have a couple friends I can get some other systems from, but in terms of the older stuff I'll be treading on the wrong side of the law and just emulating a lot of it, unfortunately.

#25 Posted by GirnBlanston (102 posts) -

If we're talking about history, i would talk about games, platforms and people who made a significant impact on the industry.

#26 Posted by EVO (3919 posts) -

Perhaps you could get an old Nokia phone and demo Snake?

#27 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

I imagine this is gonna bias toward certain genres. That said, maybe Resident Evil? Or Resident Evil 4? Or Donkey Kong?

#28 Posted by L1GHTN1N (482 posts) -

Street Fighter 2 as others have said, it's fairly important historically and it's something a couple friends can pick up, play a match and have fun at, and move along. Doom might also be interesting since your average high school kid is fairly into Call of Duty or Halo, might be cool to show them where it came from; you can also play through a level in about 2-3 minutes. Dunno if the school would be fine with you showing something as "violent" as Doom though, even though it's pretty tame by today's standards demons running around and gibbing might be a bit much; should probably check with someone to make sure it's fine to show. Super Mario Bros. would be great as well, another pick-up and play game that a lot of people are familiar with. Tetris is a classic, a lot of people probably don't realize how old it is and how much it has changed, it's always a little weird going back to the Game Boy version and playing it compared to what we have today.

More importantly choose something that you personally really like, it's going to be a lot easier to sell the class if you can talk about something you love and get passionate about, talk about your memories and how important it was for you, etc. If you drone on about Doom but haven't ever played past E1M2 and don't care about it, then no one else is going to care.

#29 Posted by JasonR86 (9742 posts) -

Doom, Super Mario Bros., Pitfall, or Pac-Man Chaptionship Ed. DX. I would pick Pac-Man.

#30 Posted by BirdkeeperDan (400 posts) -

Pong, Pacman, Space Invaders, Super Mario Brothers, Street Fighter II seem like the best choices to me. Not all significant games will be good exhibits.
#31 Posted by Slag (4615 posts) -

Any of these would work I think for your purposes.

Platformer - Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog

Side scrolling Action - Contra, Golden Axe, Metroid, Castlevania II, Mega Man II

Puzzle - Tetris, minesweeper

Arcade - Ms. Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Q-bert, Frogger, Donkey Kong

Fighter - Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, Tekken

Brawler - Final Fight or Double Dragon

Shooter - Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein

Sports - Tecmo Bowl, NBA Jam, Bases Loaded

Light Gun - Duck Hunt, Operation Wolf

Racer - Pole Position

Flight fighter- Star Fox, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

Overhead action- Gauntlet, Metal Gear

Sim - Simcity

Shoot em ups - 1942

rhythm- Parappa the rapper, Rhythm Heaven

Music- Guitar Hero

Sandbox Action- Grand Theft Auto III

text adventure - Zork

games that are historically important but probably too slow to play uickly - Dragon Quest (warrior), Legend of Zelda, Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen, Starcraft, DotA, Ultima, King's Quest, Resident Evil, Metal Gear, Actraiser, Wizardry, Baldur's Gate, Left 4 Dead

#32 Posted by TyCobb (1972 posts) -

If you are actually thinking of doing Doom, then I would urge you to do Wolfenstein instead since it started out as a 2D platformer and had a few major incarnations. You could do this with other games like Mario Bros & Super Mario Bros, but you can't kill Hitler in those games =). It also gives you the perfect ability to show the complete progress of graphics and gameplay changes through the years while sticking to specific series. Of course show other games, but I honestly think Wolfenstein is the perfect candidate because it's not the standard that people choose. It will help you standout.

also had a great idea of showing SimCity. That is another series all the way back to great DOS days and still coming out with new versions to this day.

#33 Posted by Masha2932 (1242 posts) -

A Playstation 2 with Grand Theft Auto 3 would be cool- GTA3 heralded the growth and popularity of the 3d open world genre. GTA is quick to pick up and play and students can just run around causing mayhem.

#34 Posted by envane (1164 posts) -

jeezus another lazy teacher crowdsourcing their curriculum j/k , im just butthurt that theres going to be no ribfest .. uh jazz jackrabbit , to gears of war ? cliffy b history .. quake/half life/unreal mods and their full game counterparts ? blizzard games ? theres alot of history you can draw upon , i think mario is a bit too obvious , unless you start with donkey kong .

since games have been extremely derivative since the beginning of their existence it would probably just be better to show games in relation to the broader themes of technical breaktrhoughs , success storys , genre development , the rise of storytelling etc , than tyring to pin any one game as an example of these things .. what are you trying to achieve ? education or entertainment ?

yeap ive thougth a bit about it

#35 Edited by Nate (705 posts) -

@envane said:

jeezus another lazy teacher crowdsourcing their curriculum j/k , im just butthurt that theres going to be no ribfest .. uh jazz jackrabbit , to gears of war ? cliffy b history .. quake/half life/unreal mods and their full game counterparts ? blizzard games ? theres alot of history you can draw upon , i think mario is a bit too obvious , unless you start with donkey kong .

since games have been extremely derivative since the beginning of their existence it would probably just be better to show games in relation to the broader themes of technical breaktrhoughs , success storys , genre development , the rise of storytelling etc , than tyring to pin any one game as an example of these things .. what are you trying to achieve ? education or entertainment ?

yeap ive thougth a bit about it

Good questions. Now that you mention it some sort of success story might be cool. I read Masters of Doom a couple years ago and absolutely love the story of Apogee to id software and how they manged to recreate Super Mario Bros 3 on a PC. When nintendo wouldn't work wit h them to actually release it on computer, they changed it to Commander Keen. So, what if I had Mario 3 and then Commander Keen next to it? That's a cool story I actually know quite a bit about and while I don't know if those games would come to mind right away for a lot of people it's an example of a breakthrough and a success story that led to a company that would revololutionize the industry. If I had a brief explanation of the story on a poster as an example of one of many amazing stories in the history of video games, it might draw some people in.

#36 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

War Lords is ridiculously fun in that kind of environment (played it at PAX with a couple buddies who had never played it before, and it was one of the best parts of our PAX experience.