From Pong to Amuso

Boop .... Boop ... Boop ... ... ... Boop
Videogames started out as something you plugged into your television to play. Who would have thought that one day they might replace television altogether?

Way back in 1975, Atari's Pong, like some alien pod from the future, was a r-e-a-l-l-y slow game of table tennis played with flecks of moving light booping against each other on your TV screen.

Pong was the ridiculously simple vanguard of a Tekwar-type revolution that took the world by storm. reports that, with Sears as its distribution arm, over 150,000 Pong units were sold during the 1975 Christmas season alone.

Evolution ... Revolution reports seven generations of videogame development, morphing and evolving bit-by-bit from the Pong games of yesterday to the high-def, three-dimensional, riff-screamin' Wii-driven Rock Band's of today.

But all of that has a lot to do with plugging some game into your television. What about the games that are actually taking the place of television?

Enter Amuso
Online social games are seen by some as a recession-resistant anomaly during the current economic apocalypse. BusinessWeek reports that the number of players around the globe jumped from 50 million to 250 million in the last year.

And Amuso, launched out of Barcelona in the fall of 2008, is helping to change the game.

Unlike the online version of Texas Hold 'Em, Amuso is more like a genuine TV game show, allowing you to play for points or, if you're ready for the challenge, real cash and prizes.

Beyond TV
For fans of Amuso, who needs Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune? And who needs to plug (Air) Guitar Hero into the TV?

And if you're really enterprising, Amuso claims to allow you to channel your inner Goodson and Todman and create your own online games for fun and profit.

Who knows? Maybe you can create an American Idol-type juggernaut online. It could happen.

Come on Down!
Are you playing Amuso or one of the other social games out there? Share your experiences with others here at Apocalypzia.