How Donkey Kong Changed The Gaming World
An All-Time Classic
Donkey Kong, the pet gorilla of a now very famous plumber, is turning 30 next year. With this, it may be the best time to go on a nostalgia trip and take a look at all of the glory Donkey Kong has brought to the gaming scene. Donkey Kong is an all-time classic, but only a few know how much this game has actually influenced gaming as we know it today. Let’s dive in and see exactly how Donkey Kong changed the gaming world.
In the year 1981, Nintendo released one of the world’s earliest platform games. In Donkey Kong, you play as a character named Jumpman (now known as Mario), and maneuver yourself from platform to platform, in order to get to the top of a construction site and save Pauline, the damsel in distress.
The catch? At the very top, you have the star of the show – Donkey Kong, hurling whatever he can at you, to stop you from accomplishing your mission. Like with any game, every time you finish a level, the environment gets harder – you will eventually encounter things like moving platforms, more complicated obstacles, and more difficult to avoid items being thrown at you.
The game, not quite the first of its kind, definitely revolutionized platform gaming and left the world in a complete frenzy.
A Clever Plot
Trust me, this was very clever at the time. Back in the 80s, very few games actually had story’s or plots. Donkey Kong, the antagonist, kidnaps Jumpman’s girlfriend, Pauline, and it’s your job to get her back to safety.
Alas, the concept of a damsel in distress was born. Yes, Donkey Kong was in fact the first video game to utilize this concept. After Donkey Kong was born, the world began seeing countless games that share the same idea of saving a damsel in distress, even up to this day.
The Donkey Kong Legacy
Donkey Kong started as an arcade game in 1981. However, with how popular it became, Nintendo saw no other choice but to milk it for all it’s worth. Rest assured, the fans were very pleased with that decision.
Donkey Kong made big moves over the years and would be made available to play on several different consoles. Now, if you want to experience it for yourself, you can also play Donkey Kong on the NES, the Atari, the Wii, the Gamecube, the Nintendo e-Reader, the Switch, the 3DS, and the Gameboy to name a few.
With over 50 versions of this game available to play across several of Nintendo’s platforms, Donkey Kong proves that it truly stands the test of time.
An Inspiration To Modern Gaming
So far, we have seen that Donkey Kong has certainly taken the gaming world by storm. This game alone has greatly popularized platform gaming and introduced the damsel in distress concept to the gaming world.
Even after almost 30 years later, we can still see games using these ideas, and there is no sign of them ever going away. Not that we want them to.
Think about it, how many games involve, or even have a short segment wherein your character needs to jump from platform to platform to get to a destination? How many games involve the main character doing everything in their power to save a damsel in distress? How many games involve a bad guy “throwing” obstacles to stop you in your tracks?
It may not be obvious at first, but if you take a closer look, you can certainly see the influence Donkey Kong has had on modern gaming, whether the game’s developers know it or not.
A True Celebrity
This game was in fact so popular, that Donkey Kong has become known to people even outside of the gaming world. Mainstream media saw this as an opportunity to market, and now we have all sorts of merchandise that promote Donkey Kong. The products range from mugs, pillows, action figures, cereal, clothing, all the way to life-sized replicas of Donkey Kong himself. To add to this, Donkey Kong has even had a movie, which definitely shows how much the media, and the people love this character.
Over the years, Donkey Kong has become way more than just an ordinary video game character. Donkey Kong has grown into a global celebrity, with a massive following of loyalists.
Looking Back And Looking Forward
The day Donkey Kong was introduced to the market, can be marked as one of the most historical moments in the world of gaming. Since its inception, the gaming scene took leaps and bounds forward. Plots revolving around the damsel in distress concept have become exponentially more intriguing and several games have found even more clever ways to integrate platform gaming.
A brief look at the past of gaming will show that Donkey Kong has greatly influenced quite a number of other classic games, which we probably wouldn’t have if it weren’t for this classic.
The future looks very bright for gaming. With an immensely strong platform (no pun intended) set up by Donkey Kong, games have and will continue to have a very strong foundation to lean on. Although several game developers may not even know or think about it, Donkey Kong has laid down a very good template for a potentially successful game to follow.
30 years in the future and we can still feel the impact of Donkey Kong in the world of gaming. Likewise, it is very plausible that the impact of this all-time great will still be felt for years and years to come.
Donkey Kong has influenced the world in more ways than we can imagine and in more ways than we can ever comprehend. Who would have thought that such a simple game with such a simple plot could end up being a classic template for so many future games to follow?
Without Donkey Kong, gaming would be very different from what it is today. Before we go wild from all the newest graphics and all the crazy intricate plots of modern games, let’s take a step back and appreciate how Donkey Kong changed the gaming world.
Donkey Kong Gift Ideas
There is a lot of memorabilia out there, especially on Amazon, Etsy and Ebay. Amazon is usually cheaper with more selection and so I’ve chosen them. And if you’re not super satisfied with what you’ve bought, their returns policy is really good.
With so much to choose from, where do you start? My focus has been on cool, fun and quirky items, all garnering decent ratings from well-priced sellers.
Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and receive a small compensation if you use my links, but it will not increase your purchase price. If you use my links, I truly appreciate it 😉