By now, every so-called "Hardcore Gamer" knows where the modern video game came from. Everything we know was spawned from the cultural phenomenon known as Dungeons and Dragons. It introduced us to the concept of the modern role-playing game. It gave us the idea of a persistent character and dungeon crawling epics. From there, the video game scene exploded. CRPGs flourished until the advent of the video arcades, which popularized the quarter crunching games of the eighties and nineties.
But looking at a modern game, it might be hard to see the influence of these early games. But if you dig deeper, you can find these mechanics that have lasted generations. But if you were to look at a game like Left 4 Dead, it might be a little bit harder to find these influences. But deep down, the ember of these ideas still smolders on.