Games History Pt1

reviewing History of Video Games

There is quite a debate about which ‘video game’ came first. In my eyes, a ‘computer game’, is a game which is processed using computer power. To me this would apply to the ‘video game’ as all games emit visual light in order to be played. Even then, a video is associated with television. I can see where this debate comes from! I would rather call them Electronic games. Therefore, the first electric game, in my eyes, is the Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device. It was created in the 1940’s by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann and patented in 1947. It used 9 cathode ray tubes, an oscilloscope and knobs to simulate missiles firing at targets. It used a simple screen overlay for which the targets were drawn.

Tennis for two, by William Higinbotham was the first game actually designed for entertainment purposes. It was created for visitors who were bored at Brookhaven National Laboratory but was only exhibited for two ‘visitors days’.

Many people consider ‘Spacewar’ the first largely available game. Spacewar was created in 1961 by Steve Russell and a team of students MIT, USA. It was developed for the PDP-1, the worlds first interactive computer. A 2 player game, each player controlling a ship, they had to shoot at each other whilst dodging a black hole/star. This game was the first widely available and influential, to the players and to a few games created as copies/mimics of the original!

Chase game, by Ralph Baer, was the first game designed for play on a television. It was created in 1967. Ralph had considered the idea since 1951 and had written out plans for a game playable on a TV screen. Chase had triggered the creation of the first home video games console, Magnavox Odyssey.

Nolan Bushnel created the first arcade game in 1971 called computer space, based upon Spacewar!
Pong was created a year later, also by Nolan Bushnel. Nolan and Ted Dabney started Atari that same year 1972, and released pong as an arcade game in 1975.

‘General instruments’ released the first low cost chip, allowing many companies to release their own versions of pong, and so a large gaming industry was born.

The first game I remember was a game in which you had to jump onto the backs of crocodiles/logs/frogs to cross rivers(i don’t clearly remember) with a boy. It was an incredibly pixelated game, but I don’t remember what it was called or its console. I was about 6 when I played, but I remember being bad at it, and loving to watch others play.
After that, my greatest games memory was Sonic The Hedgehog. The most addictive game I had ever played at that age. remember always asking my mum to get me over the moving ledges with the spikes in the middle! I only ever had two cartridges, STH, and a multigame cartridge, which had Shin obi, streets of rage (an oldskooler which I loved the music for), and another which was about medieval/dragons and stuff. I played STH addictively for years.

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