If the movie Pixels, released earlier this summer, accomplished anything it was to show us that video games are now an ingrained part of popular culture. Video game characters such as Donkey Kong are as familiar to people as Darth Vader. Children and adults today know Pac-Man as well as they know Harry Potter. And increasingly video games influence other entertainment genres such as movies, television shows and music videos. And with video game technology advancing all the time and sales continuing to grow, the influence of video games is likely to become stronger in coming years. With this in mind, we look here at the 10 most influential video games of all time and how they have helped to shape popular culture through the years.
10. Space Invaders (1978)
The original arcade hit, Space Invaders was released in 1978 and helped to both put video games on the map and make the local arcade a popular hangout for teenagers. Originally published by company Taito and later by Atari for their 2600 video game console, Space Invaders spawned modern gaming and inspired a generation of designers and programmers to make cool and exciting video games. Essentially an alien invasion simulator, Space Invaders is also credited as the first shooter video game, and it was the first video game to save a player’s high score and allow them to enter their initials into the game next to their high score. This created heated competitions between players and led to lineups at the arcade. A host of copycat games followed including Centipede and Galaga. And when released in Japan, Space Invaders was so popular it caused a shortage of the 100 yen coin back in 1979.