If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Learn more.

Gaming Innovation Database

Here's something I haven't stumbled on before - the Game Innovation Database.

It's been around a while, so you may be familiar. In fact, it originally began in 2004, going through various incarnations and student teams, and for the last year has been a somewhat confusing, but rather intriguing Flash map.

It's a family tree for innovations. The site states:

"The goal of the Game Innovation Database is to classify and record every innovation in the history of computer and video games, while displaying their relationship to one another. It is our belief that all innovations can be traced from a previous entry, much like a family tree. As such, each innovation has a parent, and the potential to inspire future growth, or children."

So you pick an innovation, starting with the 1954 naughts and crosses game, OXO, and spin off from there. Or you can throw in a name into the search engine. It's not about developer links, or game series, but the games that demonstrated an advancing innovation first, and those that led to this, and were born of it. Alongside the map, oodles of information appears in a text box on the left, with history, details, and screenshots. It's a fascinating browse.

(Another interesting thing about it: Browse the site for a while, and then switch back to a regular, white-background website or Word doc, or similar. Man, that hurts.)

About the Author

John Walker avatar

John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, they killed me out of jealousy. I now run buried-treasure.org

Join the Rock Paper Shotgun supporter program

Sign up today and get access to more articles like these, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and help us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information


We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community - you lot are great - and we want to keep it like that. Our main commenting rule is "be excellent to each other". Please see our code of conduct, where you can find out what "be excellent" means. TL;DR? Respect others, think before you post, and be prepared for puns.

More News

Latest Articles

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch