Video Games and Hypertext

Hypertext and Video-games how the two intertwine and overlap.

In the beginning of video games, there was not much resemblance to the also emerging hypertext systems. As computer technology progressed, more software was readily available on computers, and better hardware for video games which allowed for both systems to develop and evolve over time. In many cases, the systems do have distinct similarities.

There are many types of video and computer games that have been developed over the past few decades, which causes the term video game to loosely cover pretty much everything that has been developed as a game that can be played on an electronic device, or more specifically something with a screen. It covers games that can be played on a computer with a keyboard and a mouse, to console games on the TV, to hand-held machines, and anything in between really.

Hypertext systems have existed at least conceptually for decades before digital computers were invented. These machines used microfilm as their primary system of data retrieval. Just as microfilm was replaced by data on computers, the way that video games have been represented has also evolved over time, from text based games, to simple graphics on a screen, and eventually to the current state of games now on a variety of devices.

This project seeks to find connections between video games and Hypertext systems. Chronologically, the beginning of video games started with Pong (conceptualized in 1966), but since there is literally no resemblance to a hypertext system at all, except for the fact that they are both commonly displayed on video screens, a better example of a game that resembles a hypertext system is Zork.