Game design is the art of applying design and aesthetics to create a game for entertainment or for educational, exercise, or experimental purposes. Elements and principles of game design are applied to other interactions, in the form of gamification. Game design creates goals and challenges to define a board game, card game, dice game, casino game, role-playing game, video game, war game or simulation that produces desirable interactions among its participants and spectators. Academically, game design is part of game studies, while game theory studies strategic decision making. Games have inspired seminal research in the fields of probability, artificial intelligence and optimization theory. Applying game design to itself is a current research topic in metadesign. Sports and board games are known to have existed for at least nine thousand, six thousand, four thousand years. Tabletop games played today whose descent can be traced from ancient times include chess, go, backgammon, mahjong and pick-up sticks.
The rules of these games were not codified until early modern times and their features evolved and changed over time, through the folk process. Given this, these games are not considered to have had a designer or been the result of a design process in the modern sense. After the rise of commercial game publishing in the late 19th century, many games which had evolved via folk processes became commercial properties with custom scoring pads or preprepared material. For example, the similar public domain games Generala and Yatzy led to the commercial game Yahtzee in the mid-1950s. Today, many commercial games, such as Taboo, Pictionary, or Time's Up!, are descended from traditional parlour games. Adapting traditional games to become commercial properties is an example of game design. Many sports, such as soccer and baseball, are the result of folk processes, while others were designed, such as basketball, invented in 1891 by James Naismith. Technological advances have provided new media for games throughout history.
The printing press allowed packs of playing cards, adapted from Mahjong tiles, to be mass-produced, leading to many new card games. Accurate topographic maps produced as lithographs and provided free to Prussian officers helped popularize wargaming. Cheap bookbinding led to mass-produced board games with custom boards. Inexpensive lead figurine casting contributed to the development of miniature wargaming. Cheap custom dice led to poker dice. Flying discs led to Ultimate. Personal computers contributed to the popularity of computer games, leading to the wide availability of video game consoles and video games. Smart phones have led to a proliferation of mobile games; the first games in a new medium are adaptations of older games. Pong, one of the first disseminated video games, adapted table tennis. Games will exploit distinctive properties of a new medium. Adapting older games and creating original games for new media are both examples of game design. Game studies or gaming theory is a discipline that deals with the critical study of games, game design and their role in society and culture.
Prior to the late-twentieth century, the academic study of games was rare and limited to fields such as history and anthropology. As the video game revolution took off in the early 1980s, so did academic interest in games, resulting in a field that draws on diverse methodologies and schools of thought; these influences may be characterized broadly in three ways: the social science approach, the humanities approach, the industry and engineering approach. Broadly speaking, the social scientific approach has concerned itself with the question of "What do games do to people?" Using tools and methods such as surveys, controlled laboratory experiments, ethnography researchers have investigated both the positive and negative impacts that playing games could have on people. More sociologically informed research has sought to move away from simplistic ideas of gaming as either'negative' or'positive', but rather seeking to understand its role and location in the complexities of everyday life. In general terms, the humanities approach has concerned itself with the question of "What meanings are made through games?"
Using tools and methods such as interviews and participant observation, researchers have investigated the various roles that videogames play in people's lives and activities together with the meaning they assign to their experiences. From an industry perspective, a lot of game studies research can be seen as the academic response to the videogame industry's questions regarding the products it creates and sells; the main question this approach deals with can be summarized as "How can we create better games?" with the accompanying "What makes a game good?" "Good" can be taken to mean many different things, including providing an entertaining and an engaging experience, being easy to learn and play, being innovative and having novel experiences. Different approaches to studying this problem have included looking at describing how to design games and extracting guidelines and rules of thumb for making better games Game theory is a study of strategic decision making, it is "the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers".
An alternative term suggested "as a more descriptive name for the discipline" is interactive decision theory. The subject first addressed zero-sum games, such that one person's gains equal net losses of the other participant or participan
Future plc is a British media company founded in 1985. It publishes more than 50 magazines in fields such as video games, films, photography and knowledge, it is a constituent of the FTSE Fledgling Index. The company owns the US company Future US; the company was founded as Future Publishing in Somerton, Somerset in 1985 by Chris Anderson with the sole magazine Amstrad Action. An early innovation was the inclusion of free software on magazine covers, the first company to do so. In the 1990s, the company published Arcane, a magazine which focused on tabletop games. Anderson sold Future to Pearson PLC for £52.7m in 1994, but bought it back in 1998, with Future chief executive Greg Ingham and Apax Venture Partners, for £142m. In 2001, Anderson left Future. In 2007, the State of Texas filed a lawsuit against Future plc for violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act; the lawsuit alleges that the Future plc owned website GamesRadar "failed to include necessary disclosures and obtain parental consent before collecting personal information from children."
The owner of the other websites settled in March 2008, though the final disposition against Future plc is not public record. In November 2009, Future reported a fall in profits from £9.5 million to £3.7 million in the fiscal year that ended 30 September 2009. Future attributed this to problems with their US market, hit by a fall in the general advertising market. In March 2010, Future announced that it was exploring the possibility of reviving its GamesMaster brand on television; the video games show had run from 1992 until 1998 but while the spin-off magazine continued to be published for a further 20 years, its last issue hit the newsstands on 1 November 2018. Future won the Association of Online Publishers Consumer Digital Publisher of the Year Award for the third year in a row in 2010. Future published the official magazines for the consoles of all three major games console manufacturers; the company had a period of shuttering print media properties in favour of digital media, closing many titles and selling off others.
In January 2012, Future sold its U. S. consumer music magazines, including Guitar World and Revolver, to NewBay Media for $3 million. In April 2013, it completed the sale of major components of its UK media-music brands for £10.2 million to Team Rock Ltd. In September 2013 – but bought these back for £800,000 in 2017 after Team Rock went into administration. In August 2013, Future acquired two Australian computing titles, APC and TechLife from Bauer Media Group. Future announced it would cut 55 jobs from its UK operation as part of a restructuring to adapt "more to the company's rapid transition to a digital business model." The company announced in March 2014 that it would close all of its U. S.-based print publications and shift U. S. print support functions such as consumer marketing and editorial leadership for Future's international print brands to the UK. In 2014, Future sold its sport and craft titles to Immediate Media, its auto titles to Kelsey Media. In 2016, Future started to expand its web portfolio through a series of acquisitions.
It bought Blaze Publishing to diversify into the shooting market and acquired Noble House Media to increase its interest in telecoms media. Future completed the purchase of rival specialist magazine publisher Imagine on 21 October 2016 after receiving approval from the Competition and Markets Authority. In 2018, Future made further major acquisitions, it bought the What Hi-Fi?, FourFourTwo, Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome brands from Haymarket. Future acquired NewBay Media, publisher of numerous broadcast, professional video, systems integration trade titles, as well as several consumer music magazines.. It intends to complete the acquisition of U. S. B2C publisher Purch for $132m by September 2018. Future purchased nextmedia computing and tech assets in the same month and incorporating PC PowerPlay articles into the online versions of PC Gamer. In January 2019, Future sold some B2B brands to Datateam Media Group. In February 2019, Future acquired Mobile Nations including Android Central, iMore, Windows Central and Thrifter.
In March 2014, it was announced that the company's CFO Zillah Byng-Maddick would become the company's fourth CEO in nine years on 1 April 2014 after Mark Wood, CEO since 2011, stepped down. Richard Huntingford is chairman. Official website
2000 AD (comics)
2000 AD is a weekly British science fiction-oriented comic magazine. As a comics anthology it serialises stories in each issue and was first published by IPC Magazines in 1977, the first issue dated 26 February. IPC shifted the title to its Fleetway comics subsidiary, sold to Robert Maxwell in 1987 and to Egmont UK in 1991. Fleetway continued to produce the title until 2000. 2000 AD is most noted for its Judge Dredd stories, has been contributed to by a number of artists and writers who became renowned in the field internationally, such as Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Grant Morrison, Brian Bolland and Mike McMahon. Other characters in 2000 AD include Strontium Dog and the ABC Warriors. 2000 AD has been a successful launchpad for getting British talent into the larger American comics market. In December 1975, Kelvin Gosnell, a sub-editor at IPC Magazines, read an article in the London Evening Standard about a wave of forthcoming science fiction films, suggested that the company might get on the bandwagon by launching a science fiction comic.
IPC asked Pat Mills, a freelance writer and editor who had created Battle Picture Weekly and Action, to develop it. Mills brought fellow freelancer John Wagner on board as script adviser and the pair began to develop characters; the then-futuristic name 2000 AD was chosen by the publisher, John Sanders, as no-one involved expected the comic to last that long. The original logo and overall look of the comic were designed by art assistant Doug Church. Mills' experiences with Battle and Action in particular had taught him that readers responded to his anti-authoritarian attitudes. Wagner, who had written a Dirty Harry-inspired tough cop called One-Eyed Jack for Valiant, saw that readers responded to authority figures, developed a character that took the concept to its logical extreme, imagining an ultra-violent lawman patrolling a future New York with the power to arrest, if required execute criminals on the spot. Meanwhile, Mills had developed a horror strip, inspired by the novels of Dennis Wheatley, about a hanging judge, called Judge Dread.
The idea was abandoned as unsuitable for the new comic, but the name, with a little modification, was adopted by Wagner for his ultimate lawman. The task of visualising the newly named Judge Dredd was given to Carlos Ezquerra, a Spanish artist who had worked with Mills on Battle, on a strip called Major Eazy. Wagner gave Ezquerra an advertisement for the film Death Race 2000, showing the character Frankenstein clad in black leather, as a suggestion for what the character should look like. Ezquerra elaborated on this adding body-armour and chains, which Wagner thought over the top. Wagner's initial script was rewritten by Mills and drawn up by Ezquerra, but when the art came back a rethink was necessary; the hardware and cityscapes Ezquerra had drawn were far more futuristic than the near-future setting intended, Mills decided to run with it and set the strip further into the future. By this stage, however and Ezquerra had both quit. IPC owned the rights to Dan Dare, Mills decided to revive the character to add immediate public recognition for the title.
Paul DeSavery, who owned Dare's film rights, offered to buy the new comic and give Mills and Wagner more creative control and a greater financial stake. The deal fell through, however. Mills was reluctant to lose Judge Dredd and farmed the strip out to a variety of freelance writers, hoping to develop it further, their scripts were given to a variety of artists as Mills tried to find a strip which would make a good introduction to the character, all of which meant that Dredd would not be ready for the first issue. The story chosen was one written by freelancer Peter Harris, extensively rewritten by Mills and including an idea suggested by Kelvin Gosnell, drawn by newcomer Mike McMahon; the strip debuted in prog 2. Mills had created Harlem Heroes, about the future sport of aeroball, a futuristic, violent version of basketball with jet-packs. Similar future sport series had been a fixture of Action, the similarly-themed film Rollerball had been released the previous year. Wanting to give the new comic a distinctive look, Mills wanted to use European artists, but the work turned in on Harlem Heroes by Trigo was disappointing.
Veteran British artists Ron Turner and Barrie Mitchell were tried out, but the newcomer Dave Gibbons won the editor over with his dynamic, American-influenced drawings and got the job. Mills wrote the first five episodes before handing the strip to Roy of the Rovers writer Tom Tully. Dan Dare was extensively revamped to make it more futuristic. In the new stories he had been put into suspended animation and revived several centuries in the future. Several artists were tried out before Mills settled on Italian artist Massimo Belardinelli, whose imaginative, hallucinatory work was fantastic at visualising aliens, although less satisfying on the hero himself; the scripts were endlessly rewritten in an attempt to make the series work, but few Dan Dare fans remember this version of the character fondly. Belardinelli and Gibbons switched strips, with Gibbons drawing Dare and Belardinelli drawing the Harlem Heroes sequel Inferno; when Gibbons took over Dare in Prog 28 the strip was refashioned as a'Star Trek' style space opera.
The other opening strips were M. A. C. H. 1, a super-powered secret agent inspired by The Six Million Dollar Man.
Games Workshop Group PLC is a British miniature wargaming manufacturing company based in Nottingham, England. Games Workshop is best known as developer and publisher of the tabletop wargames Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40,000, The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game and The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game, it is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Founded in 1975 at 15 Bolingbroke Road, London by John Peake, Ian Livingstone, Steve Jackson, Games Workshop was a manufacturer of wooden boards for games including backgammon, Nine Men's Morris, Go, it became an importer of the U. S. role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, a publisher of wargames and role-playing games in its own right, expanding from a bedroom mail-order company in the process. In order to promote their business and postal games, create a games club, provide an alternative source for games news, the newsletter Owl and Weasel was founded in February 1975; this was superseded in June 1977 by White Dwarf. From the outset, there was a clear, stated interest in print regarding "progressive games", including computer gaming, which led to the departure of traditionalist John Peake in early 1976 and the loss of the company's main source of income.
However, having obtained official distribution rights to Dungeons & Dragons and other TSR products in the U. K. and maintaining a high profile by running games conventions, the business grew rapidly. It opened its first retail shop in April 1978. In early 1979 Games Workshop provided the funding to found Citadel Miniatures in Newark-on-Trent. Citadel would produce the metal miniatures used in its role-playing games and tabletop wargames; the "Citadel" name became synonymous with Games Workshop Miniatures, continues to be a trademarked brand name used in association with them long after the Citadel company was absorbed into Games Workshop. For a time Gary Gygax promoted the idea of TSR, Inc. merging with Games Workshop, until Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone backed out. The company's publishing arm released U. K. reprints of American RPGs such as Call of Cthulhu, Runequest and Middle-earth Role Playing, which were expensive to import. In 1984 Games Workshop ceased distributing its products in the U.
S. A. through hobby games opened its Games Workshop office. Games Workshop, Games Workshop in general, grew in the late 1980s, with over 250 employees on the payroll by 1990. Following a management buyout by Bryan Ansell in December 1991, Games Workshop refocused on their miniature wargames Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40,000, their most lucrative lines; the retail chain refocused on a younger, more family-oriented market. The change of direction was a great success and the company enjoyed growing profits, but the more commercial direction of the company made it lose some of its old fan base. A breakaway group of two company employees published Fantasy Warlord in competition with Games Workshop, but the new company met with little success and closed in 1993. Games Workshop expanded in Europe, the US, Australia, opening new branches and organising events in each new commercial territory; the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in October 1994. In October 1997 all U. K.-based operations were relocated to the current headquarters in Nottingham.
By the end of the decade the company was having problems with falling profits, blame was placed on the growth in popularity of collectible card games such as Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon T. C. G.. Games Workshop attempted to create a dual approach to appeal to older customers while still attracting a younger audience. Most of their special characters and vehicles were cast in white metal or pewter, but by the 2000s most of them were replaced by plastics. With this shift, Games Workshop has been able to offer greater variety in the armies offered with introductory box sets; this change brought about the creation of "initiatives" such as the "Fanatic" range, supporting more marginal lines with a lower-cost trading model. Games Workshop contributed to designing and making games and puzzles for the popular television series The Crystal Maze; the release of Games Workshop's third "core" miniature wargame, The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, in 2000 extended the company's product range. The company diversified by acquiring Sabretooth Games, creating the Black Library, working with THQ.
In late 2009 Games Workshop issued a succession of cease and desist orders against various Internet sites it accused of violating its intellectual property generating anger and disappointment from its fan community. On 16 May 2011, Maelstrom Games announced that Games Workshop had revised the terms and conditions of their trade agreement with independent stockists in the U. K; the new terms and conditions restricted the sale of all Games Workshop products to within the European Economic Area. On 16 June 2013, WarGameStore, a U. K.-based retailer of Games Workshop products since 2003, announced further changes to Games Workshop's trade agreement with U. K.-based independent stockists. Alongside the UK publishing rights to several American role-playing games in the 1980s Games Workshop a
A barcode is a visual, machine-readable representation of data. Traditional barcodes systematically represent data by varying the widths and spacings of parallel lines, may be referred to as linear or one-dimensional. Two-dimensional variants were developed, using rectangles, dots and other geometric patterns, called matrix codes or 2D barcodes, although they do not use bars as such. Barcodes were only scanned by special optical scanners called barcode readers. Application software became available for devices that could read images, such as smartphones with cameras; the barcode was invented by Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver and patented in the US in 1952. The invention was based on Morse code, extended to thin and thick bars. However, it took over twenty years. An early use of one type of barcode in an industrial context was sponsored by the Association of American Railroads in the late 1960s. Developed by General Telephone and Electronics and called KarTrak ACI, this scheme involved placing colored stripes in various combinations on steel plates which were affixed to the sides of railroad rolling stock.
Two plates were used per car, one on each side, with the arrangement of the colored stripes encoding information such as ownership, type of equipment, identification number. The plates were read by a trackside scanner, located for instance, at the entrance to a classification yard, while the car was moving past; the project was abandoned after about ten years because the system proved unreliable after long-term use. Barcodes became commercially successful when they were used to automate supermarket checkout systems, a task for which they have become universal, their use has spread to many other tasks that are generically referred to as automatic identification and data capture. The first scanning of the now-ubiquitous Universal Product Code barcode was on a pack of Wrigley Company chewing gum in June 1974. QR codes, a specific type of 2D barcode, have become popular. Other systems have made inroads in the AIDC market, but the simplicity and low cost of barcodes has limited the role of these other systems before technologies such as radio-frequency identification became available after 2000.
In 1948 Bernard Silver, a graduate student at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US overheard the president of the local food chain, Food Fair, asking one of the deans to research a system to automatically read product information during checkout. Silver told his friend Norman Joseph Woodland about the request, they started working on a variety of systems, their first working system used ultraviolet ink, but the ink faded too and was expensive. Convinced that the system was workable with further development, Woodland left Drexel, moved into his father's apartment in Florida, continued working on the system, his next inspiration came from Morse code, he formed his first barcode from sand on the beach. "I just extended the dots and dashes downwards and made narrow lines and wide lines out of them." To read them, he adapted technology from optical soundtracks in movies, using a 500-watt incandescent light bulb shining through the paper onto an RCA935 photomultiplier tube on the far side.
He decided that the system would work better if it were printed as a circle instead of a line, allowing it to be scanned in any direction. On 20 October 1949, Woodland and Silver filed a patent application for "Classifying Apparatus and Method", in which they described both the linear and bull's eye printing patterns, as well as the mechanical and electronic systems needed to read the code; the patent was issued on 7 October 1952 as US Patent 2,612,994. In 1951, Woodland continually tried to interest IBM in developing the system; the company commissioned a report on the idea, which concluded that it was both feasible and interesting, but that processing the resulting information would require equipment, some time off in the future. IBM offered to buy the patent. Philco purchased the patent in 1962 and sold it to RCA sometime later. During his time as an undergraduate, David Collins worked at the Pennsylvania Railroad and became aware of the need to automatically identify railroad cars. After receiving his master's degree from MIT in 1959, he started work at GTE Sylvania and began addressing the problem.
He developed a system called KarTrak using blue and red reflective stripes attached to the side of the cars, encoding a six-digit company identifier and a four-digit car number. Light reflected off the stripes was fed into one of two photomultipliers, filtered for red; the Boston and Maine Railroad tested the KarTrak system on their gravel cars in 1961. The tests continued until 1967, when the Association of American Railroads selected it as a standard, Automatic Car Identification, across the entire North American fleet; the installations began on 10 October 1967. However, the economic downturn and rash of bankruptcies in the industry in the early 1970s slowed the rollout, it was not until 1974 that 95% of the fleet was labeled. To add to its woes, the system was found to be fooled by dirt in certain applications, which affected accuracy; the AAR abandoned the system in the late 1970s, it was not until the mid-1980s that they introduced a similar system, this time based on radio tags. The railway project had failed, but a toll bridge in New Jersey requested a similar syst
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. There are several forms of role-playing games; the original form, sometimes called the tabletop role-playing game, is conducted through discussion, whereas in live action role-playing, players physically perform their characters' actions. In both of these forms, an arranger called a game master decides on the rules and setting to be used, while acting as the referee. Several varieties of RPG exist in electronic media, such as multiplayer text-based Multi-User Dungeons and their graphics-based successors, massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Role-playing games include single-player role-playing video games in which players control a character, or team of characters, who undertake quests, may include player capabilities that advance using statistical mechanics.
These electronic games sometimes share settings and rules with tabletop RPGs, but emphasize character advancement more than collaborative storytelling. This type of game is well-established, so some RPG-related game forms, such as trading/collectible card games and wargames, may not be included under the definition; some amount of role-playing activity may be present in such games. The term role-playing game is sometimes used to describe games involving roleplay simulation and exercises used in teaching and academic research. Both authors and major publishers of tabletop role-playing games consider them to be a form of interactive and collaborative storytelling. Events and narrative structure give a sense of a narrative experience, the game need not have a strongly-defined storyline. Interactivity is the crucial difference between traditional fiction. Whereas a viewer of a television show is a passive observer, a player in a role-playing game makes choices that affect the story; such role-playing games extend an older tradition of storytelling games where a small party of friends collaborate to create a story.
While simple forms of role-playing exist in traditional children's games of make believe, role-playing games add a level of sophistication and persistence to this basic idea with additions such as game facilitators and rules of interaction. Participants in a role-playing game will generate an ongoing plot. A consistent system of rules and a more or less realistic campaign setting in games aids suspension of disbelief; the level of realism in games ranges from just enough internal consistency to set up a believable story or credible challenge up to full-blown simulations of real-world processes. Role-playing games are played in a wide variety of formats ranging from discussing character interaction in tabletop form to physically acting out characters in LARP to playing characters in digital media. There is a great variety of systems of rules and game settings. Games that emphasize plot and character interaction over game mechanics and combat sometimes prefer the name storytelling game; these types of games tend to minimize or altogether eliminate the use of dice or other randomizing elements.
Some games are played with characters created before the game by the GM, rather than those created by the players. This type of game is played at gaming conventions, or in standalone games that do not form part of a campaign. Tabletop and pen-and-paper RPGs are conducted through discussion in a small social gathering; the GM describes its inhabitants. The other players describe the intended actions of their characters, the GM describes the outcomes; some outcomes are determined by the game system, some are chosen by the GM. This is the format; the first commercially available RPG, Dungeons & Dragons, was inspired by fantasy literature and the wargaming hobby and was published in 1974. The popularity of D&D led to the birth of the tabletop role-playing game industry, which publishes games with many different themes and styles of play; the popularity of tabletop games has decreased since the modern releases of online MMO RPGs. This format is referred to as a role-playing game. To distinguish this form of RPG from other formats, the retronyms tabletop role-playing game or pen and paper role-playing game are sometimes used, though neither a table nor pen and paper are necessary.
A LARP is played more like improvisational theatre. Participants act out their characters' actions instead of describing them, the real environment is used to represent the imaginary setting of the game world. Players are costumed as their characters and use appropriate props, the venue may be decorated to resemble the fictional setting; some live action role-playing games use rock-paper-scissors or comparison of attributes to resolve conflicts symbolically, while other LARPs use physical combat with simulated arms such as airsoft guns or foam weapons. LARPs vary in size from a handful of players to several thousand, in duration from a couple of hours to several days; because the number of players in a LARP is larger than in a tabletop role-playing game, the players may be interacting in separate physical spaces, there is less of an emphasis on maintaining a narrative or directly entertai
A superhero is a type of heroic stock character possessing supernatural or superhuman powers, dedicated to fighting the evil of their universe, protecting the public, battling supervillains. A female superhero is sometimes called a superheroine, although the word superhero is commonly used for females. Superhero fiction is the genre of fiction, centered on such characters in American comic book and films since the 1930s. By most definitions, characters do not require actual superhuman powers or phenomena to be deemed superheroes. While the Dictionary.com definition of "superhero" is "a figure in a comic strip or cartoon, endowed with superhuman powers and portrayed as fighting evil or crime", the longstanding Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the definition as "a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers. Terms such as masked crime fighters, costumed adventurers or masked vigilantes are sometimes used to refer to characters such as the Spirit, who may not be explicitly referred to as superheroes but share similar traits.
Some superheroes use their powers to counter daily crime while combating threats against humanity from supervillains, who are their criminal counterparts. At least one of these supervillains will be the superhero's archenemy; some long-running superheroes and superheroines such as Superman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, the Hulk, Green Lantern, the Flash, Captain America, Wolverine, Iron Man and the X-Men have a rogues gallery of many villains. There are movies and TV shows featuring various super heroes; the word'superhero' dates to at least 1917. Antecedents of the archetype include such folkloric heroes as Robin Hood, who adventured in distinctive clothing; the 1903 play The Scarlet Pimpernel and its spinoffs popularized the idea of a masked avenger and the superhero trope of a secret identity. Shortly afterward and costumed pulp fiction characters such as Jimmie Dale/the Gray Seal, The Shadow and comic strip heroes, such as the Phantom began appearing, as did non-costumed characters with super strength, including Patoruzú, the comic-strip character Popeye and novelist Philip Wylie's character Hugo Danner.
In the 1930s, both trends came together in some of the earliest superpowered costumed heroes such as Japan's Ōgon Bat, Mandrake the Magician, Superman in 1938 and Captain Marvel at the beginning of the Golden Age of Comic Books. The precise era of the Golden Age of Comic Books is disputed, though most agree that it was started with the launch of Superman in 1938. Superman remains one of the most recognizable Superheroes to this day; the success of Superman spawned a whole new genre of characters with secret identities and superhuman powers – the Superhero genre. During the 1940s there were many superheroes: The Flash, Green Lantern and Blue Beetle debuted in this era; this era saw the debut of first known female superhero, writer-artist Fletcher Hanks's character Fantomah, an ageless ancient Egyptian woman in the modern day who could transform into a skull-faced creature with superpowers to fight evil. The Invisible Scarlet O'Neil, a non-costumed character who fought crime and wartime saboteurs using the superpower of invisibility created by Russell Stamm, would debut in the eponymous syndicated newspaper comic strip a few months on June 3, 1940.
One superpowered character was portrayed as an antiheroine, a rarity for its time: the Black Widow, a costumed emissary of Satan who killed evildoers in order to send them to Hell—debuted in Mystic Comics #4, from Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor of Marvel Comics. Most of the other female costumed crime-fighters during this era lacked superpowers. Notable characters include The Woman in Red, introduced in Standard Comics' Thrilling Comics #2; the most iconic comic book superheroine, who debuted during the Golden Age, is Wonder Woman. Modeled from the myth of the Amazons of Greek mythology, she was created by psychologist William Moulton Marston, with help and inspiration from his wife Elizabeth and their mutual lover Olive Byrne. Wonder Woman's first appearance was in All Star Comics #8, published by All-American Publications, one of two companies that would merge to form DC Comics in 1944. Pérák was an urban legend originating from the city of Prague during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in the midst of World War II.
In the decades following the war, Pérák has been portrayed as the only Czech superhero in film and comics. In 1952, Osamu Tezuka's manga Tetsuwan Atom, more popularly known in the West as Astro Boy, was published; the series focused upon a robot boy built by a scientist to replace his deceased son. Being built from an incomplete robot intended for military purposes Astro Boy possessed amazing powers such as flight through thrusters in his feet and the incredible mechanical strength o