It all began with Ralph Baer, the "Father of TV Games." His ideas ushered in a new era of electronic entertainment and sparked the home video game revolution. In the nearly four decades since the release of the Magnavox Odyssey, home video game consoles have become a significant part of American culture and the industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. The gaming world was once populated primarily by pre-teen and teenage boys, often huddled around televisions in each other's living rooms. Today, players are boys and girls, men and women, both young and old. They still play in their home or dorm room with friends, but increasingly they play online as well. The games they play are a unique combination of technology and graphic art, and game developers have continually pushed the limits of design to create exciting new settings and cutting-edge graphics. The possibilities for the future seem limitless, and "gamers" eagerly await the release of advanced consoles and new game titles.
The Sony PlayStation 2 is the best-selling video game console of all time, with over 100 million units sold worldwide. The PS2 (as it is commonly known) has a broader age-range appeal than its main rivals, the Nintendo GameCube and the Microsoft Xbox. Released in 2000, the PS2 was backwards-compatible with Sony's previous-generation console, the PlayStation, but featured better graphics and more processing speed. Like the Nintendo GameCube (but unlike the Microsoft Xbox), the PS2 lacks a hard drive so users must buy a separate memory card to store their games in progress. Users can play this game either by themselves on their own TV or connected with other players through the internet.