Sunday, September 21, 2014

Video Game

The phrase “video game” hasn’t really changed in meaning at all since it first started appearing in publications and scholarly works in the late 1970s. The term is a very basic description of itself- literally a game played on a screen like a television or a computer. It first appeared in the New York Times in 1978, the Chicago Tribune in 1980, and the Los Angeles Times in 1981. When I searched for the term on the scholarly work databases ProQuest, Project Muse, and Jstor, “video game” first appeared in 1977, 1994, and 1982, respectively. I found it very interesting that the earliest date in which the term “video game” was used was actually in a scholarly article as opposed to one of the newspapers. However, my searches did show that the term emerged for the very first time in all of the publications at around the same period, excluding the Project Muse search. That was also very interesting to me- it illustrated very obviously the emergence of video games and gaming culture in the late 1970s and early 80s. I did some more research and found that this is because of the introduction of the gaming console by Atari. They released theirs in the late 1970s and it was a huge hit. Also, in the 80s, other companies like Sega and Nintendo began making consoles. So, it only makes sense that publications began using the term when they did, and why it all seemed to happen at a single point in time.


  1. Hey John- You picked a great word to use. I was going to pick Video Games because I certainly play enough. I'm not surprised it has the same meaning over time because video games are a game and were created for a singular purpose.

  2. Interesting. I didn't know the first console was an Atari.