10 "Firsts" That Changed Video Games Forever

It wasn't Shenmue that brought us Quick-Time Events...


Gaming has come a long way in a considerably short amount of time, evolving in numerous ways, from pixels to polygons and from two to three dimensional environments. In fact, video games are perhaps the fastest growing medium on the planet, transforming themselves every decade or so into something virtually unrecognisable, always progressing, improving upon pre-established conventions, and changing to meet the demands of the market.

Over the years, various games have come along and been the first of their kind, introducing concepts or gameplay innovations before anyone else, and generally being the first to do something remarkable.

In 1981, Donkey Kong was the first game to use animated cutscenes, for instance, making it one of the most historically significant games ever made. Equally, Jurassic Park: Trespasser – an ambitious first-person exploration game released in 1998 for Microsoft Windows – was the first game to use ragdoll physics; a now-customary animation style seen in everything from Skyrim and Fallout to Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.

Everything on this list was the first to do something, traits and mechanics we now take for granted. Here are ten firsts that changed gaming forever…

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A postgraduate student at Durham University, Richard's passions include detective fiction and PC gaming, and he is currently writing a novel about neither.