The Abstract Podcast

From Space Invaders to Floor Is Lava: The evolution of gaming

In this episode, we discuss the many ways gaming continues to reinvent itself.

Three contestants standing next to each other carefully moving in a Floor Is Lava game

Some call the 1970s and '80s the “golden age” of gaming — when PacMan and Space Invaders lined arcade floors — but the modern gaming world continues to surprise and delight.

While players and spectators can now stream, download, and cue up games easier than ever before, the heart of gaming remains true to its core: capturing a childlike sense of nostalgia and connecting people to a lost sense of fun.

Today, we take a look inside the ever-evolving billion dollar industry from the people who built it and a glimpse into gaming’s wild, innovative future.

In this episode of The Abstract, we discuss the many ways gaming continues to reinvent itself.

Our first story is about High Score, the documentary series from Netflix highlighting the visionaries who shaped the video games you love. Through stories from forgotten heroes of the industry, we learn how a world of escape and inclusivity was created — and, ultimately, sustained.

Our second story takes a different spin on games. A surprise offering from streaming giant Netflix, Floor is Lava has managed to recapture lost youth by turning a child's game into an adult's competitive sport. Its creators credit the show’s popularity to a powerful emotion: nostalgia.

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Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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