Play Overtime Timeline

This project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. We would like to thank everyone who participated in this project and Heritage Lottery Fund for giving us this opportunity.


The aim of the Play Overtime project was to engage up to 25 children and young people that were experiencing social and economic disadvantage in Nottingham inner city communities of St Ann’s and Sneinton, in the heritage and history of play.

This project explored how play over the years
has been influenced by the introduction of TV and video game consoles and how this has shaped the way play has adapted and changed over the years from the 1970’s to current times. 


This is the era that not many people have knowledge on because it was harder to record things from this time, also it was not as easy to get access to video games as it is today.

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The Magnavox Odyssey is the first commercial home video game console. It was developed by a small team led by Ralph H. Baer at Sanders Associates and released by Magnavox in the United States in September 1972 and overseas the following year. The Odyssey consists of a white, black, and brown box which connects to a television set, and two rectangular controllers attached by wires.

Top 5 Arcade games;

  1. video games 80s GIF by RETRO-FIEND
    Space Invaders
  2. Pong
  3. Galaxian
  4. Asteroids Breakout
  5. Tank
Image result for Tank 1970 games

    6. Computer Space
Death Race
Lunar Lander
   10. S
tar Raiders

List of games made in the 1970’s:

  • 1971 — Galaxy Game, Computer Space, Empire, Star Trek, The Oregon Trail, Baseball
  • 1972 — Pong, Hunt the Wumpus, Star Trek ; launch of Magnavox Odyssey
  • 1973 — Gotcha, Space Race; BASIC Computer Games book
  • 1974 — Tank, Maze War, Spasim, Gran Trak 10, Speed Race
  • 1975 — Colossal Cave Adventure, Gun Fight, Indy 800, dnd, pedit5; launch of Magnavox Odyssey Series
  • 1976 — Artillery, Breakout, Blockade, Death Race, Sea Wolf, Night Driver, Sprint 2, Microchess; launch of Coleco Telstar and Fairchild Channel F
  • 1977 — Empire, Combat, Space Wars, Super Bug, Zork; launch of Apple II, Atari 2600, Bally Astrocade, Color TV Game, Commodore PET, Compucolor II, and TRS-80 Model I
  • 1978 — Space Invaders, Atari Football, Beneath Apple Manor, MUD1; launch of Magnavox Odyssey and Exidy Sorcerer
  • 1979 — Galaxian, Asteroids, Head On, Adventure, Star Raiders, FS1 Flight Simulator, Temple of Apshai, Lemonade Stand; launch of Atari 400/800, Intellivision, and Microvision

The children researched video games from this time and found a lot of interesting information. This decade was more relevant because their parents remembered their experienced from this decade. Video Games weren't as popular in the time because most people would play outdoor games instead of video games.


The children had more first hand knowledge from this, because the games consoles are similar to how they were and the games that they play outside haven’t changed either. 

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Sega Dreamcast (1999)

Sega’s swan song in the console world, the short-lived Dreamcast was ahead of its time. In 1999, the small, white box launched as Sega’s sixth console generation, delivering online play and crisp 3D graphics before the Sony PS2, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo GameCube entered the market. Dreamcast controllers have their own screens with the system’s unique VMU memory cards, allowing you to play mini games or gain a tactical advantage. And when it comes to fun, classics like “Shenmue,” “Crazy Taxi” and “Sonic Adventure” are still just as enjoyable today.

i make s sometimes sonic the hedgehog GIF
Sonic Adventure

1991 – First Super Nintendo (aka SNES Super NES) video game console released by Nintendo.

1994 – First PlayStation (aka PS or PS1) video game console released by Sony Computer Entertainment.

1994 – First Sega Saturn video game console released by Sega.

1996 – First Nintendo 64 (aka N64) video game console released by Nintendo.

1998 – First Dreamcast video game console released by Sega.  The last video game console made by Sega.

The children did some hard work and researched some good facts from this decade, they then used this information to interview their families. 

The attraction to playing video games and what makes them fun is that it gives people the chance to think about a role they would ideally like to take and then get a chance to play that role,” explained lead researcher, Dr Andy Przybylski
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2000 – First PlayStation 2 (aka PS2) video game console released by Sony.

2001 – First Xbox video game console released by Microsoft.

2001 – First GameCube (aka GCN) video game console released by Nintendo.

2005 – First Xbox 360 video game console released by Microsoft.

2006 – First PlayStation 3 (aka PS3) video game console released by Sony

2006 – First Wii video game console released by Nintendo

PlayStation 2 console
PlayStation 2 – 157.68 million

The PS2 stands mighty as the best-selling console ever. Sony’s gaming giant sold 157.68 million units across 13 years of sale. It made its debut in Japan on 4th March 2000 and was eventually discontinuation on 4 January 2013 – 6 years and 54 days after the PS3 had gone on sale!

Its huge success was down to a number of factors. The length of time it remained on sale was one of those, but so too was its vast library of games, the fact it played DVDs and the way Sony would go onto re-released in ever smaller (and cheaper) iterations.


Skyrim One of many masterpiece games Bethesda gaming company has made. Released in late 2011, the fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls Series, “Skyrim” was the best by far. The game was fluid, fun, and adventurous in every turn. The game ended up winning the game of the year.

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1. “Skyrim”

2. “The Last Of Us”

3. “The Witcher 3”

4. “Grand Theft Auto V

5. “Red Dead Redemption”

The main consoles played were:

  • Wii
  • Wii U
  • Playstation 4
  • Xbox one
Throughout this project people were encouraged to share their stories. We would love to share some of your stories. Please email us so your memories could be added to our timeline.
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Video games have been relevant since the 80s but not until a decade ago, video games have taken a huge leap into becoming a lifestyle and job for people. From the start of the 2010s to 2019, games have evolved all the way to virtual reality. Games have become normality in people’s everyday life.

Thousands of video games are released every year, but very few make a truly big impact on the gaming community. These are the ten video games that have had the biggest in sales and the biggest impact on the gaming world.