At Raph Koster’s suggestion (I think it was him), I’ve been playing through the arcade games on MAME sorted chronologically. It’s FASCINATING to watch games evolve in an environment where there are no genres or rules established yet. Almost every game is an incredibly new and amazing concept, and they’re all fun, because there is no visual or audio spectacle for them to fall back on if they weren’t.
Equally interesting is that EXTREMELY early there were a run of clones of a multiplayer snake-like games (I kind of always assumed that snake was first, and that multiplayer snake was more or less invented by Tron?). So we either have these incredibly innovative and distinct group of games ever or EXACT clones. It’s super refreshing and cool! Recommended for any game designers out there!