Where would computers be without computer games?

Let the alternate historian in you run wild. What would the computing world look like if there had never been computer games–or more realistically, if they were not the massive, industry-driving success that they’ve turned out to be?

Everybody would have a Mac.

you really don’t need to wonder.

Yeah, because games are the only reason people don’t buy Macs…

Well, uh, pretty much. Although for me, price is the only other factor.

The PS3 might be worth it?

Hardware development would have advanced, but at a slower pace. Supercomputers would probably be more commonly used for high-end applications rather than distributed-computing solutions (as it’s a big impetus to realize that, hey, personal computers are getting absurdly powerful and most use barely uses any of that power and could we leverage it somehow–that’s not going to occur to people as soon if your personal minicomputers still have a “turbo” button on them).

Also, violent youth crime would only be driven by the social threat of punk rock and roleplaying games.

Pretty much, yeah.

Everyone would run linux. I guess all the effort that went into making graphics cards would have gone into something else… no idea what, though.

If I weren’t a gamer I probably wouldn’t have “switched” (doh!) back in '99.

  • Agree on the Macs point
  • There’d be a lot of tiers of computer systems. Normal workplaces would have low end, cheap workstations good for word processing and the internet. Computationally intensive jobs (programming, 3D modelling) would have really expensive SGI or IBM machines.
  • Cray would be doing a lot more business
  • The Human Genome would not be sequenced yet
  • You’d have to buy a specialty PCI card (or whatever the Mac equivalent is) to watch DVD’s or good quality .mpg’s.
  • Consoles would be at the Gamecube / PS1 level of things? That’s a tough one.
  • DS and PSP would be the same - that’s more based on cell phone technology.
  • In the movies, the hobbits are played by midgets or children.

Look, no one in this thread is making it obvious that they’re joking about the Mac’s obvious triumph being held back by that stinking little PC game market, but, everyone knows they are.

Tough question. Especially considering the internet was devised specifically for World of Warcraft…

That’s kind of a big one. Businesses didn’t embrace PCs back in the 80s because it let them run King’s Quest, they bought them because they were cheap and became the de facto standard.

Now, if Macs had been price-competitive with PCs from day one, the IT world would be a much different place now.

Back in 1996, I was looking at buying my first PC since the 1980s when I owned an Apple II.

I seriously considered a Mac, but bought a PC because of the games. Things have gotten somewhat better, but back then, there were really almost no games for the Mac.

Everything would be exactly the same… Windows got popular because of MS Office and because there’s so many programs that run on it.

You think the only reason people don’t use Macs is because it doesn’t run games on it? I would much rather not pay the luxury tax for a Mac desktop, and I firmly favor tablets over laptops (which Apple does not make).

Even if it was the same price as a Windows PC, DOS is what IBM chose and thus all the Windows products always had IBM compatibility. It’s the same story as always, OSes with backwards compatibility always win. Heck, even Mac OS X uses Rosetta to have backwards compatibility with the PPC apps. It’s the major reason why we are still using x86 architecture when all the consoles have long since moved to PPC variants.

You are so full of shit it isn’t funny. You think that out of the over 90% market-share that Windows has that the only reason that they don’t switch to Mac is because of games? Christ. Wake up, please. The vast majority of people have piece of shit Windows computers with integrated video chipsets, piddly amounts of RAM, are still running Windows ME, and think the internet isn’t that great because their dial-up connection makes weird noises. If they game AT ALL, they boot up their PS2 or GBA and play some games for a little while, or play Yahoo! or PopCap casual games that any computer can run.

Welcome to middle America.

The vast majority of computers used in the world is for business, not games.

Yes, the internet is serious business. All those people at home making ocular-cancer-inducing MySpace pages are contributing to the GDP.