The popularity of video games has changed in ways more subtle than many of us ever give credit for. Yes, it has become a growth industry due in no small part to the way it has offered people what they want.

Cerebral games are now more cerebral, violent games more violent, and games featuring hedgehogs now have all the more hedgehogs in them. However, there is also another difference which has become all the more telling since the 1990s.

Early in that decade, to play a really good game largely meant venturing to the local arcade. Now, no such action is necessary.

Console gaming has grown and grown since it came to us in earnest towards the end of the 1980s. However, it used to be the case that consoles had nothing like the power of the mainstream arcade machines, and indeed games tended to be developed for the arcade before being drastically scaled down to make them playable on a console.

Now, the vast majority of games are developed with console gaming in mind. Whether this is a good thing or bad depends on your viewpoint, but gamers generally appreciate the opportunity to hole up indoors for a night of action, with the option to drink and snack as they see fit.

Additionally, when playing on an arcade machine one was always conscious of the queue of people forming behind them waiting to take over should the run out of coins to feed the machine.

Once you’ve bought the game, it is yours and you can stay there until you’ve cracked it. Long live the console!

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