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Computer games, however, did not disappear. These extras gradually became less common, but many games were still sold in the traditional over-sized boxes that used to hold the extra "feelies". These publications provided game code that could be typed into a computer and played, encouraging readers to submit their own software to competitions.[5] Microchess was one of the first games for microcomputers which was sold to the public. OXO, an adaptation of tic-tac-toe for the EDSAC, debuted in 1952. Tomb Raider in 1996 was one of the first 3D third-person shooter games and was praised for its revolutionary graphics.

Consumers began purchasing DOS computers for the home in large numbers. During this time, the improvements introduced with products such as ATI's Radeon R300 and NVidia's GeForce 6 Series have allowed developers to increase the complexity of modern game engines. In response to a reader's challenge to find a DOS game that played better than the Amiga version the magazine cited Wing Commander and Civilization, and added that "The heavy MS-DOS emphasis in CGW merely reflects the realities of the market".[27] A self-reported Computer Gaming World survey in April 1993 similarly found that 91% of readers primarily used IBM PCs and compatibles for gaming, compared to 6% for Amiga, 3% for Macintosh, and 1% for Atari ST,[28] while a Software Publishing Association study found that 74% of personal computers were IBMs or compatible, 10% Macintosh, 7% Apple II, and 8% other.

OXO, an adaptation of tic-tac-toe for the EDSAC, debuted in 1952. The first generation of computer games were often text adventures or interactive fiction, in which the player communicated with the computer by entering commands through a keyboard. First sold in 1977, Microchess eventually sold over 50,000 copies on cassette tape. Also in 1989, the FM Towns computer included built-in PCM sound, in addition to a CD-ROM drive and 24-bit color graphics. From the mid-90s onwards, PC games lost mass-market traction to console games before enjoying a resurgence in the mid-2000s through digital distribution.[1][2] The uncoordinated nature of the PC game market and its lack of physical media make precisely assessing its size difficult. By 1989 Computer Gaming World reported that "the industry is moving toward heavy use of VGA graphics".[20] While some games were advertised with VGA support at the start of the year, they usually supported EGA graphics through VGA cards. There were also several other companies that produced early first-person shooters, such as Arsys Software's Star Cruiser,[23] which featured fully 3D polygonal graphics in 1988,[24] and Accolade's Day of the Viper in 1989. Although personal computers only became popular with the development of the microprocessor and microcomputer, computer gaming on mainframes and minicomputers had previously already existed. An early text-adventure, Adventure, was developed for the PDP-11 minicomputer by Will Crowther in 1976, and expanded by Don Woods in 1977.[4] By the 1980s, personal computers had become powerful enough to run games like Adventure, but by this time, graphics were beginning to become an important factor in games.