The four major gaming companies of the late 2010s to present. Clockwise from top left: TellTale Games, Bethesda Softworks, Nintendo, and Naughty Dog

Over the course of the 21st Century, video games became a staple of not just American, but many other country's cultures as well. While video games were originally directed at youth, throughout the 2010s and 2020s, other age groups became consumers likewise. For instance, Nintendo's Wii Fit attracted seniors, and many RockStar games were targeted (for the most part) at adults.



Although there were many tests and attempts to produce a player controlled game viewed on a screen, the first "video game" was the obscure Computer Space released in 1971. Computer Space was a space shooter in which the player would control a rocket ship defending itself from attacks by UFOs. Despite its action theme, Computer Space earned lukewarm reception, and was viewed as too confusing by many players. Therefore, Computer Space has largely been forgotten.

In 1972, PONG was released in arcades, and was an instant hit, drawing massive popularity. Due to its strong reception, a home version was released in 1975. Owing to PONG's critical acclaim, many developers began to create their own PONG "clones", leading to the creation of the video game industry.

Following the crash of the video game industry (resulting from an abundance of PONG clones), a Japanese game company known as Taito created a video game called Space Invaders, the game was incredibly well received (similar to the success of PONG), and led the gaming industry into its golden age.


At the beginning of the turn of the century, the electronics company Sony, was boosted by the success of the PlayStation console. In 2000, Sony launched the PlayStation 2. The PlayStation 2 was immensely popular, crushing Sega's Dreamcast, (causing Sega to discontinue the 18 month old console). Microsoft, (in an attempt to compete with Sony), released the Xbox in 2001. The Xbox instantly sold out, and outperformed the PS2. Nintendo entered the console race as well, developing the Nintendo GameCube. The GameCube was decently received (although it drew some criticism for its appearance), Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo were viewed by most as the top three game system companies of the decade, and the three competed fiercely for the next few years with Microsoft releasing the Xbox 360, Nintendo releasing the Nintendo Wii, and Sony releasing the PlayStation 3.

The early to mid 2000s also marked the beginning of many notable game series, such as the Halo series, the Call of Duty series, and the Assassin's Creedseries to name a few.


In 2010, Bethseda Softworks published Fallout: New Vegas, part of the Fallout series, a post-apocalyptic RPG series. The game received positive reviews, and gained Bethesda name recognition in the gaming world. Bethseda later published The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim which became immensely popular. Bethesda went on to release several other titles that received very positive reception, including The Elder Scrolls OnlinePrey 2, and Fallout 4.

TellTale Games (of Sam and Max fame), released the The Walking Dead Video Game in 2012, the game received massive acclaim, winning over 80 GOTY awards. Riding on the superb reception of The Walking Dead, TellTale developed many other games over the next few years, such as The Walking Dead 400 Days, The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead Game Season 2, Tales From The Borderlands, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead Game Season 3, and Breaking Bad The Video Game, all of these games being well received.

Over the decade, Naughty Dog had notoriety for having helmed the popular Uncharted series. After releasing the Last of Us in 2013, the company became highly successful, and  Naughty Dog created two sequels to the game. The sequels did not receive as much acclaim as the original, but were still popular nonetheless.

Following the mediocre reception of the Wii U, as well as Paper Mario: Sticker Star's poor showing among fans of the Paper Mario RPG series, Nintendo began to struggle. They were further hurt when the GameSpy Network (which Nintendo used several of their servers from) was shut down on May 31st 2014. However, following the positive reception of Mario Kart 8 Nintendo was able to stay afloat in the video game business. Nintendo was later stimulated in 2015 with the release of Paper Mario 5, which was able to win back over fans of the first two Paper Mario titles.

In 2014, the Oculus Rift was created by Oculus VR. The device enabled gamers to control games by turning their head in various directions. The Oculus revolutionized the gaming world. Later in 2014, the social networking enterprise, Facebook, bought Oculus VR.

Resulting from major successes for Bethesda, Telltale, Naughty Dog, and Nintendo, these companies become the "go to four" for video games. Microsoft held a distant fifth in popularity, having been damaged with the controversial release of the Xbox One. Sony continued to sport some success, but was not as popular, as the console war had essentially ended, and Sony's sells had primarily consisted of consoles, and not games.

The Oculus A

Future Visor

A woman using the Oculus Rift II

In 2022, Oculus VR released their first real console called the Oculus A. The Oculus A operated similarly to the Kinect add-on for Xbox consoles previously released by Microsoft, the difference being the Oculus A was compatible with the Oculus Rift II (the sleeker, upgraded sequel to the Oculus Rift), and allowed an advanced voice command system. The Oculus A was given a rather large boost in popularity, when then-President Rand Paul, bought a copy of the system for the White House, one moment of note came when a press photo-shoot was done in the White House of Paul, Vice President Cruz, and the White House Chief of Staff, playing various sports games on the system. Following the surge in popularity for the A, there was a technological "gold rush" by various gaming companies to have their games released on the system, one company that was exceptionally sucessful in this venture was DICE, who were able to have one of their military based games (Battlefield: Brothers in arms) published by Oculus. Brothers in Arms was widely successful, and was named by some as the best military simulator of all time, and was praised for its well detailed graphics, as well as realistic voice acting.

Changes in video game's place in culture

  • By 2020, video games are no longer viewed as a useless waste of time, and are respected as a form of media on the same level of television, movies, the internet, books, and even art.
  • The majority of people have ceased to blame tragedies such as shootings, and murders on video games.
  • Most children are allowed to play video games, and barring a child from doing so is considered as abnormal as banning a child from watching television.
  • Gamers have an equal amount of women and men.
  • Video games based off the wars of the early 21st century are no longer considered controversial. However, video games involving the American-Militia war are rare and considered a sensitive topic throughout the 2020s, 2030s and somewhat in the 2040s.

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