They say inspiration comes from strange places, and I did not expect the Instagram account House Of Gaming to send me into a spiral on the very nature of innovation, but here we are.
I was blowing off steam the other day, which is a way to say you were laying on the couch looking at Instagram whilst also sounding like you deserved it, when I stumbled across this Reel.
If you can’t be bothered to watch it (you’re probably blowing off steam it’s fine), it is a lightning quick run through every generation of game starting at Pong and ending at the modern masterpiece Red Dead Redemption 2. Now what stood out to me was the short amount of time this massive innovation occurred over.
Pong was released in 1972 (the reel above starts with 1958, which is when the first video game was created but it wasn't Pong), and over the past 50 years, the games industry has exploded into the biggest media industry on the planet, and been at the forefront of so many technological innovations that it’s completely unrecognisable from its humble beginnings.
So how does this happen? Well it all started with Mr John Xbox…
Joking, there is no John Xbox (yet), instead the games industry has been propelled forward from the hard work, passion and ingenuity of thousands if not millions of developers and creators around the world, over the past 50 years investing their time and resources into making games better.
Every line of code written, every character crafted, every world designed and created from nothing, pushes the industry forward and allows innovation to continue. And that’s applicable to all areas of innovation.
The only reason I can code is because thousands of developers before me created and perfected programming languages, passed that on to others and created free internet resources so others can learn. I can write because teachers and educators took the time to teach me how to whilst being paid less than a bartender, and thousands of others put their writing out there for me to enjoy and learn from.
I wrote previously about my disillusionment about how I may never create anything completely new, but I have been thinking a lot about playing my part in the grand scheme of human ingenuity. I may not be the next Steve Jobs or John Xbox, but I can contribute what I have and the skills I have learned to make the world slightly more interesting, and from that (and millions of others doing the same), the human race will inevitably do what it always has, create.