Marty discovers the Wild Gunman arcade machine in the Cafe 80's in 2015.

A video game is an electronic game that involves human interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video screen, such as a television screen, computer monitor, video glasses, or on some arcade cabinets that have video screens.

Although the first patent for a video game was filed in 1947, and a working model of a video game was demonstrated as early as 1951, the video game industry didn't take off until the 1970s, with the birth of the video arcade industry.

An example of one of these early arcade games was Wild Gunman by Nintendo. It was a target shooting game that used a light gun. It was the first full motion video game, as it was played by on a film projected onto a screen, and would detect if the light from the gun hit the target at the right point.

The 1970s also saw the release of video games released for use at home. Originally they were sold as entire systems that could only play one or several games that were pre-programmed in the system itself.

By the late 1970s, however, video game consoles for the home began accepting programmable cartridges, which would allow developers to release many different games for the same system. Although it wasn't the first to use a programmable cartridge, Atari 2600 popularized the format. Another system that used programmable cartridges was the ColecoVision.

During the 1980s, many places would have a video arcade or two like 7-Eleven, as well as some stores consisting of video arcades for customers to play like Starbase Zero in Hill Valley.

When the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, was released in 1985 (and in Japan in 1984 as the Family Computer, or Famicom), it quickly became the best selling home video game system at the time. By 2015, NES games were available for sale in antique shops. For example, at the Blast from the Past antique/memorabilia store in Hill Valley, the store displayed NES versions of Jaws, BurgerTime, and R.C. Pro-Am.

The popularity of the NES led to these versions of games being available in the arcade. In 1984, the Wild Gunman arcade game was updated with cartoon graphics using the sprites of the Famicom system. It was released in Japan that year, and in the United States in 1985. That same year, the NES version of Wild Gunman was released for the arcade via the Playchoice-10 system, which allowed players to choose between ten different NES versions of games to play. Several ports of NES games were also released independently to arcade on the Nintendo VS. System. A Wild Gunman arcade game was playable at Cafe 80's in Hill Valley in 2015.

By 2015, hands free video games were commonplace. Two kids referred to the aforementioned Wild Gunman video game that required the player to use their hands as a "baby's toy".

In the 21st century, video game players can communicate with each other over the internet, with wireless headsets. In 1876, Emmett Brown communicates with Marty McFly wirelessly via headsets that he acquired from Verne Brown's cache of 21st century video game consoles.

Some people though, tend to look down on video games seeing them to either be a waste of time or a bad influence on society. One such example is Hill Valley forbidding them in the 1986G timeline, due to Edna Strickland rules as evidenced by one of the contraband items being a Wild Gunman arcade cabinet.

Behind the scenes[]


  • Wild Gunman was never released as an independent arcade release, only as part of the Playchoice-10 system. Back to the Future Part II features an unreleased Nintendo VS. System version of the game.
  • In 2015, video game input devices such as the Kinect, PlayStation Camera, and the Leap Motion controller were available in reality, which did allow video games to be played without the use of the player's hands.


See also[]