Humans have worked very hard creating technology, which ensures they will never have to work again. In celebration of their dwindling efforts, we proudly present The History of Time Wasting Games.
Pinball – mid 1700s
Pinball dates back to the reign of Louie XIV, when those closest to the Sun King knew that the violence of his machine shaking rivaled that of Henry VIII. The game adapted from fuller-sized lawn sports such as bocce and bowling. By affixing pins and pegs to a stationary platform, the games became easier, more compact, and bafflingly even lazier than they already were. And thus, technology time wasting was born.
Pong – 1972
Nearly two hundred years later, for as much as technology had progressed, the games themselves became that much simpler. As one of the very first mainstream household video games, Pong taught the world that they can escape from their lives by staring at two rectangles and a circle for hours on end.
A bit more interactive than the games before it, Pacman is the tale of a hungry semi-circle who rapidly eats up everything in sight while running from colorful ghosts who chase him. The tables are turned, however, when Pacman eats a “power pellet” thus becoming unstoppable. The mysterious contents of said “power pellet” are the focus of Oprah’s next in-depth TV interview.
Tetris – 1984
Keeping with the trend of geometry-based video games, Tetris features mostly prisms. Players could spend hours building big shapes out of smaller shapes. To make the game even more like a toddler's cognitive skill builder, Tetris added pretty colors to the mix. If gaming systems tried to release a shape-oriented game today, players would likely go all Call of Duty on their asses.
Tamagotchi - 1996
Tamagotchi was a Japanese toy that enabled users to carry a digital pet on their key chains. It provided all the fun of feeding, medicating, and cleaning up after a pet with none of the distracting cuddles or companionship.
Nintendo 64 – 1996
Perhaps the most loved of all vintage gaming systems, half the fun of Nintendo 64 was trying to keep your system running without bursting a lung by blowing into the back of the cartridges.
Neopets – 1999
Hot dog flavored yogurt. Rainbow Dung. Evil toy of DOOM. Fish jelly. Small giant squid…. These are all actual items you can buy, sell, trade, and own in the world of Neopets. If you need more explanation of why the game went viral, you just won’t understand.
In a land of knights, archers, magic, and dragons, players spend the majority of their time cutting down trees and pretending to fish.
At this point, technology is just mocking the real world. Somehow Farmville tricked Facebook users into tending a cyber field for hours on end. It requires nearly as much time as organizing an actual farm with absolutely none of the benefits. On the bright side, at least it helps Old McDonald stay in touch with his grandkids.
Fruit Ninja – 2010
Did you know that without feuding Feudalism to occupy their time, most ninjas have now adapted along with modern trends? It’s true! In fact, many hold down day jobs as vegan chefs. And even more are completing their age-old training entirely via smartphone. We’re not sure who leaked their latest training technology to the general public, but we’re thankful for the glimpse into the culture of an age-old society.
What game occupies your life?