Space Invaders and Pac-Man lead an arcade craze, while Atari's cartridge system dominates home gaming until a high-profile failure sparks a downfall.
A Japanese playing card company called Nintendo enters gaming and hits it big with Donkey Kong, then later takes over home gaming with the NES.
Inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, adventure and role-playing computer games introduce unprecedented levels of choice and complexity to players.
Sega's Genesis console and its speedy new character, Sonic, hit the market. Electronic Arts kicks off a partnership with football legend John Madden.
Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat give rise to the head-to-head fighting genre, but the increasing graphic violence in games brings controversy.
Nintendo goes 3D with Star Fox. Wolfenstein 3D popularizes the first-person shooter format, while Doom ups the ante with networked gaming.