“Before the beginning of recorded time, deep in the primordial ooze, a few multi-celled organisms played a game to see who could survive on land the longest. This was how Gaming, and Life, were born.”
Being a “Gamer” is more than just liking video games. Gaming has been among us for our entire history, first as a means of survival, then as an engine for change, and finally, as a special type of outlook, alive in the hearts of countless people throughout the world. Gamers don’t just appear in history—they make it. So if you want to write a history of Gaming, you must be prepared to write a history of the world.
After speeding-running the eras of prehistory, the article will cover the Gamers of each major era. From the Cavemen Gamers who evolved from the first early hominids several million years ago after finding a Leaf Stone, to the American Revolutionary Gamer who signed his name xXxNoTaxWOutRepxXx on the Declaration of Independence in fancy cursive lettering, to the present day and beyond, we will leave no great Gamer forgotten.
NOTE: While we will attempt to cover historical events from all over the world, the sad reality is that we are all inherently region-locked. The stories will likely skew toward the Western World over the past few centuries. We agree that, just like in Gaming, region-locking overlooks essential regions of our shared universe.
This article was written in mid-2020 by Andy Holt, Kevin Flynn, Mark Roebuck, and Jeremy Kaplowitz. At the time, it was an outline for a book we wanted to pitch, but were unsuccessful in doing so. We were sick of watching it collect dust in our Google drives and wanted to finally give people a chance to read it. And hey, maybe if it’s popular, we can finally write up a full version of it? Until then, please enjoy our version of the history of the universe.
The Universe Was Turned Off and On Again in What Scientists Call ‘The Big Boot Up’
Off and on again.
Before the time of the Gamer, there was nothing. And then: a bang and a start-up animation. Just like that, the Game loaded.
The Big Bang (also commonly referred to by scientists as “The Big Boot Up”) is a result of the compact universe overheating into a state of very high density and very high temperature. Scientists believe that, had the universe installed a simple fan, there would be no heavens, no planets, and no life. Certainly no Games.
Although there was no one around to hear the precise moment that the Big Bang took place, scientists believe there was a “start-up noise” of some kind. Despite a good amount of evidence proving its existence, we will likely never know what it sounded like. That goes double for the way it might have sounded if you held “X” at the exact moment The Big Bang occurred.
Unfortunately, there was a fatal error that caused the Game to crash immediately after booting up. The Day One Patch was issued and the Game was relaunched. That was the beginning of the New Game. Everything in the Game expanded from a single point into an infinite expanse of particles, which formed the stars, galaxies, and all of existence. Most of this happened inside one of those boring cinematics you have to sit through before you can start playing. Then, Earth finished loading.
That was when it Got Gud.
Earth received regular updates to refine and improve player experience. Some bugs were removed. Some bugs were added. While the servers remained largely empty, the groundwork was laid to support the thriving, massively multiplayer looter-shooter we know today.
Life grew and changed. Soon there were many different species of Gamer in the arcade. The winners kept playing for free, and the loser had to cough up some quarters. They had to change and improve to survive, and they spent a lot of quarters. Many species left. Some species, like the alligator and horseshoe crab, are still on their very first quarter. The humans were latecomers to the arcade, but they’re on a hot streak that is absolutely brutal.
This article is an exploration into the entire history of the Gamer since the dawn of time. Grab a controller and your favorite sugary beverage, because this story is a roguelike with up to 80 hours of content. You’re not going to grab every piece of information in your first playthrough. You’re going to need to backtrack. You’re going to need to consult your map. You’re probably going to have to call our tips hotline or consult our wiki to get a sense of the full lore.
But if you get through the whole thing, if you pull off a 100% playthrough of this article, you’ll gain a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience. Hell, you might even level up. I hear at level 16, you learn flamethrower — and that’s gonna be pretty cool!
That being said, it’s dangerous to go alone. Take this:
Just in case you need to, I don’t know, cut someone up.
The First Gamers, Microscopic Life Forms Known as Amiiba, Were Very Low-Level and Deficient in Skillz
- The formation of the earliest Gamers is shrouded in mystery. Scientists theorize that around 4 billion years ago, the earliest organic compounds formed in the “primordial soup”—a special combination of carbons and other substances. These compounds came together in countless different ways, like food recipes in Breath of the Wild. Most of the first attempts were total disasters. But after a bunch of failures, poof, the perfect recipe was finally complete. It is unknown whether a cool little flute diddy played, but it’s hard to imagine it didn’t.
- These early microscopic life forms, known as Amiiba, were all very low-level Gamers deficient in skillz. Nowadays, they would get rocked by 8 p.m. and sent to bed like the wack casual n00bs they were. But because they all sucked, they were able to compete with each other. They improved. They took no shortcuts. And eventually, they gained everything. At some point, one of the Amiiba slithered from the soup and touched dry land. This fabled Gamer was the first to receive a character creation screen. Through evolution, their selections would go on to influence every Gamer to come after them.
- Alternate Quest Path: Less mainstream sources claim that the first Gamer was in fact formed in a different part of outer space, before undertaking an exploration mission to Earth, where it formed the basis for the Gamers we know today. We don’t take a side on this issue—if you could save scum in real life, we would happily explore both quest paths.
- Science Corner: Cells each contain one paddle and one dot.
Dinosaurs, Massive Creatures With Huge Amounts of Hit-Points, Were Earth’s First Bosses
- Interestingly, dinosaurs were not Gamers. They were fearsome, high-level Bosses who ruled over the Earth until a lone hero was able to rise and defeat them, freeing the world from their grasp. This hero has been lost to history, but was likely a mage, because they were able to cast Meteor.
- Science Corner: Much of this information was originally researched by the historians who developed the game Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.
Pangea Broke Apart, Just Like Any Other Gaming Hardware
- For the most part, the Earth is an excellent piece of hardware for the Gamers who use it. Entire books have been written about the intricacies of this hardware, how it works, and the ways it has degraded with wear-and-tear, both due to mishandling and factory defects. We’ll only cover the most blatant and dramatic quirk: the breakup of Pangea, also known as Joy-Continent Drift.
- This defect caused the solidly built, intuitive landmass to degrade into an unpredictable pattern of continents. The Earth is still playable, but Joy-Continent drift makes it a huge pain in the ass, especially during tedious fetch quests across the oceans.
Pre-Human Gamers and Ape Gamers Both Evolved From the Missing Link
- Science Corner: Science tells us that, due to the nature of how mitochondrial DNA is passed down, it is a theoretical reality that all humans can trace their DNA back to one woman, known to scholars as “mDNA Eve.” Science does not tell us, however, that this woman was definitely a Gamer.
- The mitochondria is the Tank of the cell.
- The human Gamers did not evolve from the ape Gamers of today—they’re both descended from a common ancestor species known as the Missing Link. While no record of this specific Gamer has been found, we have enough data to get a grasp of the meta. This tells us that the Missing Link favored sharp tools, consumed various fruits and protein sources for health, and had at least one earring. Fellow species at the time gave the Missing Link reviews ranging from “boring” all the way to “an instant classic, destined to define the genre.”
Primate Gamers Evolved Into Early Hominids After Finding a Leaf Stone
- A primate Gamer evolved into the first early hominid Gamer several million years ago after finding a Leaf Stone. Gamers of other species, like the cockroach and alligator, have been holding down “B” for millions of years, and as a result they have remained the same since ancient times.
- Science Corner: Alien Hominids evolved at the same rate as normal Hominids, as seen in this alien-to-man evolution graph showing an Alien Hominid becoming a normal looking yellow guy with an antenna.
Homo Sapiens Briefly Co-Existed With Homo Nintendonus
- This section will be formatted like a short lesson about the rise and fall of Neanderthals, but instead it will be about Homo nintendonus, a species of hominid that includes Mario and Luigi.
- The anatomical differences were both a help and a hindrance to homo nintendonus. The species was very short and had stunted limbs and oversized hands, making it very hard to use small tools, instead relying on gigantic hammers that flattened everything they touched. However, they could jump roughly 30 feet in the air if they timed it just right. They were experts at hand-to-hand combat, and they could take a lot of hits. They had no blood.
- By contrast, based on cave paintings it seems that the early human Gamers were likely still limited in terms of walking. These primitive Gamers appear to have only been able to move to the right, and also up and down a little bit.
- Alternate Quest Path: There is no hard evidence, but many anthropologists believe that the Homo nintendonus eventually led to the modern Italian.
How Early Gamers Crossed the Bering Land Bridge to Unlock an Expansive New Area of the Map
- This was the first time early humans traveled across the world map to unlock a new area. It was an extremely long and dangerous journey that likely took generations, giving the massive new area enough time to load.
Ancient Mesopotamians Developed The First Friend Code System
- Mesopotamians used a rudimentary system of symbols and numbers to create the first Friend Code system. Fun fact: this ancient language remains largely unchanged to this day in the Nintendo Switch.
Ancient Egypts Built the Pyramids in the First Recorded Instance of “Crunch”
- While a single Pharaoh is remembered as the “lead developer” behind each pyramid, the hard work of the creative teams has been forgotten.
- If you’re looking for more information on this subject, consult the most exhaustive and well-respected scholarly work on the subject, Assassin’s Creed: Origins.
Ancient Mayans Predicted When Human Civilization Will Reach Kill Screen
- Rumor has it that the Ancient Mayans programmed a kill screen into the Game. There have been many fan theories speculating about when this kill screen will be reached, but so far they have all turned out to be fake.
Ancient Chinese Builders Had to Unlock the Necessary Resource Types to Build the Great Wall of China and Stop the Mongolians From Invasion
- Requiring extremely large numbers of resources and complex planning, The Great Wall of China was the demo that would later inspire some of the greatest works Minecraft has ever known.
- Although many people believe that the Great Wall of China can be seen from space, this is a common misconception. Human civilizations did not have enough RAM to render the Wall at such a great draw distance.
- Earth didn’t evolve past “pop-in” graphics until the nineteenth century. Until then, the planet was covered in a thick layer of fog to obscure major monuments that could not be seen.
Ancient Greek Gamers Developed a Pantheistic Religion Featuring the Largest Ever Selection of Worshipable Gods
- This massive list included Zeus (god of thunder), Ares (god of war), and Kratos (God of War 2).
- Another of these choices was Hermes, a “trickster” god also known as the first recorded troll in the Western World. Hermes often did his trolling in disguise, through various sockpuppet accounts to blend in with the humans.
Native Americans Ran a Pretty Chill Server Until They Were Raided By a Bunch of Ruthless European Guilds
- At first, Native Americans thought the Europeans were just griefers who would eventually go back to the server they started themselves, but the Europeans took over the entire economy and terrorized those who lived there originally.
Jesus Christ Respawned After Being Betrayed By a Member of His Squad
- Nobody has ever been able to leverage a single respawn more effectively. Solo player, downed by an absolutely brutal cheap shot after being cornered by a much larger squad. Cleverly used it to respawn at an advantageous location that would prove to be a huge strategic advantage in the long run.
- At a key moment, Jesus was betrayed by a member of his own squad who turned his mic off at a crucial moment.
- Theology Corner: The Holy Trinity = Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow