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History of video games/2000-2009

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Trends[edit | edit source]

Internet Gaming matures[edit | edit source]

In late 1999 EverQuest was released, popularizing MMORPGs.[1] The 2000's saw the release of popular MMORPG's such as World of Warcraft, and Runescape.[2] These MMORPGs offered unique social experiences for their players and resulted in in game social institutions being formed.[2]

New Economics of games[edit | edit source]

EVE Online in 2008.

The concept of free to play games primarily downloaded on the internet with small paid additions, microtransactions, is refined. This strategy begins to be seriously pursued by major game companies like EA by the end of the decade.[3]

Companies begin seriously marketing small DLC, with incidents like Horse Armor DLC for Oblivion initially attracting an incredulous response for selling something that did not include story or other additional content,[4] and becoming a common joke online by the end of the decade.[5][6]

Virtual in-game currencies that can be officially exchanged for real currencies or to replace membership costs emerge in games like Second Life and EVE Online[7][8]. In part due to concerns of inflation, EVE Online developer CCP Games hires an economist to manage the in-game economy.[9] In games that prohibit trading in game currency for real currency like World of Warcraft, and to a lesser extent games that allow it like EVE Online, under the table deals and grey markets for in game currency obtained by techniques like gold farming arise.[8][10] In game thefts for real world gain begin catching the public eye.[11]

Games as Apps, Mobile gaming in the 2000's[edit | edit source]

Tetris running on an iPod music player in 2006.

Games for non-gaming mobile computer devices gained popularity, often running on mobile media players like iPods, or on basic feature phones.[12]

Later the introduction of smartphones and application stores on them made mobile gaming more accessible.[13]

Popular Genres[edit | edit source]

  • First Person shooters
  • Role Playing games
  • Rhythm and Music games.

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games[edit | edit source]

While Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) emerged before the 2000's, this decade was when they achieved mass popularity. Most notably World of Warcraft was released this decade.

Open World[edit | edit source]

As hardware increasingly became more powerful, game developers soon were able to craft comprehensive, vast 3D environments much more easily than before. Open World games blur the line between a subgenre, a design choice, and a game mechanic. Open world mechanics often were mixed with other genres for interesting results.

Constructive[edit | edit source]

One of the most notable video games to be released in the 2000s, despite the fact that it was only a paid public alpha, is Markus "Notch" Persson's 2009 masterpiece Minecraft, which was an instant success since the time of its release and has since become an ever-evolving video game running on various different platforms - eventually becoming one of the most popular games of all time. The 2009 version evolved in what was later known as the "Java Edition", due to the fact that it was completely written in Java, although this will be explored in later chapters.Earlier in the decade, similar games attempted to capture this idea of an open world where the player could do anything, though far less popularity.[14] Minecraft was influenced by the earlier 2009 voxel building game Infiniminer.[15][14] 2002 saw the beginnings of the game Dwarf Fortress.[14]

GTA clones[edit | edit source]

Other, earlier, games that had enormous success in the 2000s were Rockstar Games's Grand Theft Auto III (2001), IV (2008) and the intermediate chapters Vice City (2002) and San Andreas (2004). They have spawned the GTA clone video game genre, which also encompasses many other video games, all characterized by being a hybrid of third-person shooters and driving simulators and often focusing on organized crime and mafia storylines.

There was a large demand for GTA-style games on the go, which included the well-received, but controversial, 2006 video game adaptation of The Godfather and its 2009 sequel, leading to innovative attempts to replicate the gameplay on very underpowered handheld hardware. This resulted in the release of acclaimed titles such as Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars in 2009 or the Payback clone duology (2001-2012).

2000[edit | edit source]

Handheld Era[edit | edit source]

High demand for handheld electronics of all kinds causes a severe shortage of the chemical element Tantalum.[16]

2001[edit | edit source]

War on Terror[edit | edit source]

The horrific attacks on September 11th, 2001 had huge repercussions on both culture and the global economy.[17][18] In response to the attacks, many games are delayed and edited out of respect to the victims of the tragedy.[19]

2002[edit | edit source]

Game Jams[edit | edit source]

In early 2002 Game Jams begin taking off with developers. In Oakland, California the 0th Indie Game Jam is held from March 15th, to March 18th.[20] The first Ludum Dare follows shortly in April.[21]

2003[edit | edit source]

Graham a 2003 oil painting by artist Kristoffer Zetterstrand inspired by Pixel Art in games.

Strategy Guides Peak[edit | edit source]

By 2003 the rush to write official strategy guides that release either on or before the launch of a game lead to poor quality writing in such guides.[22] Furthermore some strategy guides for Square Enix games required use of a non-free website in conjunction with the guide[23], which was problematic in an era before laptops and mobile devices were common, and when desktop computers were often kept in separate rooms from a television and console. Meanwhile a popular unofficial strategy guide website GameFAQs is acquired by CNET.[24]

2005[edit | edit source]

World of Warcraft goes Viral[edit | edit source]

2005 was a landmark year for World of Warcraft, including a number of events which would have broader influence outside the game.

In 2005 a bug in the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft leads to the player transmissible status effect Corrupted Blood not always disappearing after a specific encounter, thus spreading across the game world and infecting over a million player characters in a virtual epidemic.[25]

The event became a subject of academic research by medical professionals, as the event was essentially a model of a real life epidemic.[26] In particular observations from the Corrupted Blood incident would later be used in 2020 by researchers looking to understand decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic.[27]

A video of the infamous total party wipe in the Leeroy Jenkins World of Warcraft raid gained enormous online popularity following its posting on the 10th of May 2005, though in 2017 the video was confirmed to have been staged.[28][29] The name Leeroy Jenkins became somewhat of an icon, and was used to refer to players who charged into dangerous situations with blind enthusiasm.

2005 Gallery[edit | edit source]

2007[edit | edit source]

Great Recession[edit | edit source]

The Great Recession hits the economy in 2007, wiping out savings and deeply hurting the stock market.[30] Sales of video games and gaming hardware subsequently drop.[31] Compared to other industries, the gaming industry was relatively resilient.[32]

2008[edit | edit source]

Tabula Rasa in Space[edit | edit source]

The creator of Ultima, Richard Garriott, flies to the International Space Station as a tourist.[33] He attempts to play the game Tabula Rasa into space, but this is denied for security reasons, bringing the code of Tabula Rasa with him and broadcasting a message to players instead.[34][35][36]

2008 Gallery[edit | edit source]

2000's Gallery[edit | edit source]

Screenshots[edit | edit source]

Events[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Engineering Everquest" (in en). https://spectrum.ieee.org/consumer-electronics/gaming/engineering-everquest. 
  2. a b Silva, Matthew De. "What I learned from getting scammed by 12-year-olds" (in en). https://qz.com/1608914/how-runescape-mmorpgs-shaped-millennials-during-childhood/. 
  3. Schiesel, Seth (21 January 2008). "The Video Game May Be Free, but to Be a Winner Can Cost Money (Published 2008)". https://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/21/technology/21game.html. 
  4. "Download Oblivion's horse armor, for a price" (in en). https://www.engadget.com/2006-04-03-download-oblivions-horse-armor-for-a-price.html. 
  5. "Oblivion Horse Armor On Sale For Twice The Price" (in en-us). https://kotaku.com/oblivion-horse-armor-on-sale-for-twice-the-price-5193675. 
  6. "Industry must address horse armour 'joke'". 15 July 2009. https://www.mcvuk.com/business-news/industry-must-address-horse-armour-joke/. 
  7. "Virtual Economics" (in en). https://www.technologyreview.com/2005/12/01/229988/virtual-economics/. 
  8. a b "EVE Online player loses USD 19,000 in shady virtual currency deal" (in en). https://www.engadget.com/2008-12-30-eve-online-player-loses-usd-19-000-in-shady-virtual-currency-dea.html. 
  9. Hillis, Scott (16 August 2007). "Virtual world hires real economist" (in en). https://www.reuters.com/article/us-videogames-economist-life/virtual-world-hires-real-economist-idUSN0925619220070816. 
  10. "China's 'Gold Farmers' Play a Grim Game" (in en). https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10165824. 
  11. "Gamer robs virtual bank to get real-world cash CBC News". https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/gamer-robs-virtual-bank-to-get-real-world-cash-1.799414. 
  12. Hill, Jason (4 September 2008). "The rise and rise of casual gaming" (in en). https://www.smh.com.au/technology/the-rise-and-rise-of-casual-gaming-20080904-gdstl3.html. 
  13. Wortham, Jenna (5 December 2009). "Apple’s Game Changer, Downloading Now (Published 2009)". https://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/technology/06apps.html. 
  14. a b c "The good, the bad, the Minecraft: All the inspiration and clones you’ll ever need". VentureBeat. 15 September 2012. https://venturebeat.com/2012/09/15/minecraft-inspiration-and-clones/. 
  15. "Minecraft: 10 Facts About The Game That Every Fan And Newcomer Should Know About". Game Rant. 25 October 2020. https://gamerant.com/minecraft-facts-about-the-game/. 
  16. Roos, Gina (January 31st, 2000). "A Serious Case Of the Shorts". https://www.eetimes.com/a-serious-case-of-the-shorts/. 
  17. "Events of 9/11 Affected U.S. Culture in Ways Both Clear and Obscure". https://www.trincoll.edu/NewsEvents/NewsArticles/pages/911Panel.aspx. 
  18. Brainard, Lael (NaN). "Globalization in the Aftermath: Target, Casualty, Callous Bystander?". https://www.brookings.edu/research/globalization-in-the-aftermath-target-casualty-callous-bystander/. 
  19. "How 9/11 Affected Games bit-tech.net" (in en). https://bit-tech.net/reviews/gaming/pc/how-9-11-affected-games/1/. 
  20. "Technology Inspires Creativity: Indie Game Jam Inverts Dogma 2001!" (in en). www.gamasutra.com. https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/2989/technology_inspires_creativity_.php. 
  21. "Get Your Game On with Ludum Dare: Interview with Mike Kasprzak (Part..." (in en). https://software.intel.com/content/www/us/en/develop/blogs/get-your-game-on-with-ludum-dare-interview-with-mike-kasprzak-part-1.html. 
  22. "Decline of Guides". 8 September 2003. https://web.archive.org/web/20030908223435/http://alanemrich.com/Writing_Archive_pages/decline.htm. 
  23. "GameSpy.com - Article". 17 June 2006. https://web.archive.org/web/20060617055414/http://archive.gamespy.com/articles/june03/dumbestmoments/readers/. 
  24. "GameFAQs Acquired by CNET - Slashdot" (in en). https://games.slashdot.org/story/03/06/04/1438227/gamefaqs-acquired-by-cnet. 
  25. "Corrupted blood incident—a not-so-virtual epidemic in a virtual world : Networks Course blog for INFO 2040/CS 2850/Econ 2040/SOC 2090". https://blogs.cornell.edu/info2040/2016/11/28/corrupted-blood-incident-a-not-so-virtual-epidemic-in-a-virtual-world/. 
  26. Oultram, Stuart (1 December 2013). "Virtual plagues and real-world pandemics: reflecting on the potential for online computer role-playing games to inform real world epidemic research". Medical Humanities 39 (2): 115–118. doi:10.1136/medhum-2012-010299. ISSN 1473-4265. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23584861/. Retrieved 6 January 2021. 
  27. Elker, Jhaan. "World of Warcraft experienced a pandemic in 2005. That experience may help coronavirus researchers.". Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/video-games/2020/04/09/world-warcraft-experienced-pandemic-2005-that-experience-may-help-coronavirus-researchers/. 
  28. "The Makers Of 'Leeroy Jenkins' Didn't Think Anyone Would Believe It Was Real" (in en-us). Kotaku. https://kotaku.com/the-makers-of-leeroy-jenkins-didnt-think-anyone-would-b-1821570730. 
  29. "Leeroy Jenkins Meme is 10 Years Old". Time. https://time.com/3855242/leeroy-jenkins-world-of-warcraft-meme/. 
  30. Merle, Renae. "A guide to the financial crisis — 10 years later". https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/a-guide-to-the-financial-crisis--10-years-later/2018/09/10/114b76ba-af10-11e8-a20b-5f4f84429666_story.html. 
  31. Richtel, Matt (11 June 2009). "Video Games Aren't Recession-Proof". https://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/11/video-game-industry-dips-further-in-may/. 
  32. Terdiman, Daniel. "Is the video game industry recession-proof?" (in en). https://www.cnet.com/news/is-the-video-game-industry-recession-proof/. 
  33. "What Did Richard Garriott Do In Space?" (in en-us). https://kotaku.com/what-did-richard-garriott-do-in-space-5214165. Retrieved 21 November 2020. 
  34. "Video Games in Space Nixed Over Fears of Space Station Hacking" (in en-us). https://kotaku.com/video-games-in-space-nixed-over-fears-of-space-station-5478092. Retrieved 21 November 2020. 
  35. "Garriott: 'Operation Immortality' Good Substitute For Playing Tabula Rasa In Space" (in en). https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/111612/Garriott_Operation_Immortality_Good_Substitute_For_Playing_Tabula_Rasa_In_Space.php. Retrieved 21 November 2020. 
  36. "Garriott Sends Coded Message From Space" (in en-us). https://www.wired.com/2008/10/garriott-sends/. Retrieved 21 November 2020. 

1990-1999 · 2010-2019