Who Made the First Video Game? A Brief History of Video games


Just as in every new technology or field of endeavor it is always a bit muddled as to who actually was first. Technology, in particular, is a field where small incremental changes come about and the field evolves. As to who make the first video game we will take a look at different stages of video games from the first game played on a cathode ray tube to the first mass produced arcade game and finally the first console game system that was sold to consumers. All three of these steps were important developments that brought video games to where they are now.

The absolute earliest and first game to be played on some type of a cathode ray tube, and use some type of computer, was a missile simulator type game played on circular screen that looked much like the old radar screens used during World War II. This game was created by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann in 1947. The creation of this game was significant because it marks the beginning of a new age of cathode ray tube and what they can be used for. Up until this point any display like this was simply used as something to be seen. With this game a player could look at it and make changes to what happened on it. It was interactive!

oscilloscope gameIn 1952, what many consider to be the first graphical game was created by A.S.Douglas and it was a tic-tac-toe game called OXO. Over the course of the next two decades between the 1950's and 1960's a variety of other rudimentary games started to make appearances with the use of large computers that were tube based. One of the most notable was the game Tennis for two which was created by William Higinbotham in 1958. This game was played on an oscilloscope display.

Video games start to become more sophisticated and take on more realism in the 60's and the first game to do this was a game called Space War. It was created for a Digital Equipment Corporation computer and it was two spaceships (players) that engaged in a shootout on a starry background. One of the significant things about this game was that the ships were in a gravity well that affected how they moved and how the player had to operate them. This game has been recreated and copied in many different arcade and home versions like Galaxy Wars and in variations like Asteroids.

The First Publicly Released Game

The Pong Arcade GameThe first game released to the mass public was called Computer Space. It was based on the Space War game and it was a coin operated arcade style game created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. It was released in 1971. And in 1972 they released the arcade game Pong which was a big success. These games were the beginnings of the Atari Company.

Video Games Move onto the home Television Set

The very first console video game system that could be played on a television set at home was the Magnavox Odyssey. It was designed by Ralph Baer and it was first released to the public in 1972 and It only met with limited success. In 1975 the real revolution in video games for the home began with the release of the home version of Pong by Atari. Atari landed an exclusive contract for 175,000 units with Sears who would market it and sell It in their stores. The game was a smash success for the 1975 Christmas season. One of little thought about revolutions about this game was that all the discrete wiring was designed into a single chip which was the most advanced consumer electronics chip ever made until then. This opened up a whole new world of computer games.

Video games have had an interesting history with a lot of different people contributing to their success. They have come a long way and there are no doubt many more interesting and exciting developments to come.

Timeline of Video Game Graphic Development

1968 Ralph Baer creates the brown box game called "Chase Game"
1971 Pong - The first video game
1972 The Magnavox Odyssey is launched
1973 Maze wars - First 3d video game
1977 - The Atari home console was released. It had cartridges which allowe many games to be played.
1978 - Space Invaders is released
1979 Galaxian - The first color video game
1979 - Asteroids is released
1985 - The Nintendo NES was released
1985 -Super mario bros Beginning of the 8 bit era
1987 Driller/Space Station Oblivion First game using wireframing with 3d Sprites
1989 - Nintendo Releases GameBoy and Tetris
1991 Sonic The Hedge Hog - Beginning of 16 bit era
1994 Ridge Racer - beginning of the 32 bit era
1995 Descent - the first fully polygonal game
1998 Unreal Birth of modern first person shooter and advanced 3d graphics
2001 The Nature Demo - Introduction of programmable graphics
2002 Animusic The first port of offline renders to real time 3d graphics
2002 Rendering with natural light The first real time rendering with dynamic lighting
2003 Ruby Doublecross - Era of cinematic approaches to real time graphics
2005 Toyshop Milestone in scenery density and realism
2007 Ruby Whiteout evolution of cinematic rendering and dynamic game computing

Here is part one of an interesting series of videos about the history of video games. This is an excellent series of 5 videos that gives an interesting look at the history of video games.


The Ultimate History of Video Games The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon--The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World

Inside the Games You Grew Up with but Never Forgot
With all the whiz, bang, pop, and shimmer of a glowing arcade. The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. From the arcade to television and from the PC to the handheld device, video games have entraced kids at heart for nearly 30 years. And author and gaming historian Steven L. Kent has been there to record the craze from the very beginning.
This engrossing book tells the incredible tale of how this backroom novelty transformed into a cultural phenomenon. Through meticulous research and personal interviews with hundreds of industry luminaries, you'll read firsthand accounts of how yesterday's games like Space Invaders, Centipede, and Pac-Man helped create an arcade culture that defined a generation, and how today's empires like Sony, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts have galvanized a multibillion-dollar industry and a new generation of games. Inside, you'll discover:
·The video game that saved Nintendo from bankruptcy
·The serendipitous story of Pac-Man's design
·The misstep that helped topple Atari's $2 billion-a-year empire
·The coin shortage caused by Space Invaders
·The fascinating reasons behind the rise, fall, and rebirth of Sega
·And much more!
Entertaining, addictive, and as mesmerizing as the games it chronicles, this book is a must-have for anyone who's ever touched a joystick.


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