History of Video Games Lapbook

January 19, 2007 at 11:47 am (Uncategorized)

My 12 year old asked me a couple of weeks ago if he could make a History of Video Games lapbook.  I told him sure!  He did this completely on his own.  He came up with the topics, did the research, wrote the reports, constructed the folders,  found and printed all the graphics and presented to me a completed lapbook!

The topics in his lapbook are:

Rumors and Myths of Gaming
The Console Wars
Games Considered the Worst of All Time
Games Considered the Best of All Time

Here are my 2 fav’s:


PONG is a video game by Atari, based on the sport of table tennis.

Pong is thought to be the very first video game ever created, but actually, the game Computer Space came before it, but it is by far the game that is thought that it is first the most.

The game features two paddles and a ball, and the player must knock the ball, using their own ball to deflect it, until they have gotten the ball past the other a set number of times.

Christmas 1975 was the most popular season for PONG

Here is a story of it’s origins I found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pong

"In the spring of 1972, the Magnavox Odyssey system (a version of PONG) was on display at a demonstration in Burlingame, California where Nolan Bushnell played the Odyssey’s Ping-Pong game for the first time.

The system was initially tested in a small bar in Grass Valley, California and Andy Capp’s Tavern, a bar in Sunnyvale, California. Within a day, the game’s popularity had grown to the point where people lined up outside the bar waiting for the place to open.

Before long, the unit broke down, and the bar’s owner called Alcorn at home to have him remove the game. When he opened the unit to start a game, he quickly discovered the problem – the milk carton placed inside to catch the coins was overflowing with quarters to the point that the coin switch was jammed. Alcorn immediately called Bushnell in Chicago to tell him about the game’s outstanding success and Nolan decided they should manufacture PONG themselves.

Two weeks later, Magnavox learned of PONG, and notified Atari that they already had a patent on the concept. The two companies went to court. Magnavox was able to produce witnesses who had seen Nolan playing the Odyssey’s Ping-Pong game, and they had a guestbook from the event which Nolan had signed. Magnavox and Atari eventually settled when Atari paid the television manufacturer $700,000 to license the patents."

Pong has been remade a number of times. The original Pong is challenging to faithfully emulate because it uses 7400 chips and discrete logic rather than a CPU for game logic meaning it uses many different chips instead of just one like modern video games.

Pong was released in 1972.

Magnavox Odyssey, Pong, and Coleco Telstar are considered the first generation of gaming.


Nintendo is a Video Gaming Company that is most well known for the NES, SNES and Game Boy systems.

But what few people know is that Nintendo was actually founded long before Video games existed. In the (admittedly very late) 1800s! In 1889 Nintendo was founded to make trading cards. Handmade very special trading cards.  They became extremely popular in Japan very quickly.

Later on they started trying new things such as a taxicab service and even a toy company!
If you have already read about the console wars, you will notice I mentioned something about a great Video Game crash.  In 1983? Well guess what exactly that was? Well in that year all of the companies that made video games? They all went bankrupt. That meant no video games. And it probably would have stayed that way… if not for… THE NES!

Technically the system had already been released in Japan. The Nintendo Famicom was a hit in Japan, but many of the “Worst games of all time” had been released in America,  (E.T. Superman, etc.)  Making it almost completely dead. So they decided to make a “Seal of quality” that only games with it could be played on the NES.

Once released in America it revived gaming. But, the man credited for being the sole reason of the amount of success Nintendo has received was without a doubt…. Shigeru Miyamoto! The man responsible for Mario, (the good ones, not the sports one… except for Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour…) Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, and Pikmin. He is a legend in the gaming world, he is famed and in some cases, idolized… without him all of Nintendo’s star franchises would be nothing. He is also famed for one of the most famed gaming quotes in recent history. “A good game is eventually good. A bad game is forever bad.” Is his response for Nintendo’s tendency to delay games. He is also famed for being known to scrap a game completely halfway into production, just because he thinks it isn’t going to Nintendo’s (or his own) standards. He is even more famed than the president of Nintendo Satoru Iwata is, And more famed than the president of Nintendo of America (NOA) Reggie Fils-Aime is.

The NES and SNES were very successful.. The N64 not as much, but still did well… The Gamecube was good, but it lost the war.

The Wii is doing well in this year but who knows what the future history of Nintendo will be?

I realize this is not the most educational topic on the planet.  However, it is something he is interested in and he was inspired to do it completely on his own.  To me that is one of the things that homeschooling is all about!



  1. msack said,

    My video game loving son would love a research project like that!

  2. Fiffi said,

    Hello Jamin
    I haven't visited you for some time now! I realise I've missed out on some good things! Firstly your son is so motivated, just like you! Pass on the well done to him please.
    I love the face lift your blog got!
    That quilt story was lovely. What a treasure that is to pass down to your daughter!
    What a lovely tribute to your sil, Jan!
    Will visit again soon

  3. Anonymous said,

    I love the concept. I mean, who else could come up with,"The history of video games".

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