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This chapter presents a dataset of 1,725 historical video games released between 1981 and 2015, with a particular focus on the distribution of these games across platforms, genres, and historical eras over time. The same importance is given in this large-scale analysis to an ‘blockbuster’ game as to a forgotten ‘one-person’ game developed decades ago. It follows a ‘distant reading’ approach, allowing to attempt to uncover aspects of video game history by highlighting tendencies at a macro level. Placed on a year scale, two distinct growing time intervals are observed: one from 1981 to 1997, followed by a sudden acceleration leading to a second period of growth from 1999 to 2007. This second period coincides with the ‘fifth generation’ of home consoles (PlayStation, Saturn, Nintendo 64) and ends with the arrival of the ‘seventh’ generation (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii). It is then followed by a regression possibly caused by the market of mobile gaming (not included in the dataset).

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