Multimedia in entertainment
by Binh T. Tran

With the arrival of the CD-ROM and the Internet, the entertainment industry made a huge leap into a new era with a winning card - multimedia. Armed with images, sounds, full-motion video and interactive capability, multimedia become a dominant factor in today’s technology world.

The concept of multimedia and entertainment was first introduced in games on the Atari and Caleco systems during the sixties and seventies. The combination of sound, animation and user interaction made games like "Space Invaders" and "PacMan" cultural icons of the decade. Years later, with the arrival of the first personal computer, the Apple Macintosh, multimedia once again announced its existence through primitive games and learning software. The IBM and PC-compatible computers followed the same road. However, the concept of multimedia was not well known until the early nineties with the arrival of the CD-ROM. The storage capacity and the processing speed of the CD-ROM allow software and game developers to unleash their creativity. The fast but steady growth of electronic technology allows multimedia to become advanced and popular in a very short time. By the middle of the nineties, almost all personal computers were equipped with sound cards and CD-ROM for the sole purpose of running multimedia applications. Movies and cartoons, which were only available on VHS tapes, are stored on CD-ROM (VCD) and allow the users to watch on their computer screen. At the present, the DVD-ROM, with more storage capacity and even higher processing speed, is making its way into the market and slowly replaces the CD-ROM.

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Research for this project was done by
Alex Chau, Binh Tran, Florence Tan, Melanie Marsh and Theresa Gouglas.
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