Sunday, 11 October 2009

History of Computer Games: 1950s - 1970s

The evolution of the computer games has no definitive starting point, so therefore hard to pinpoint what game can be classed as the first. Computers were initially designed to make life easier for various private organisations and the government. However, as time progressed the idea of using computers for fun became more feasible.

Arguably this was down too A.S. Douglas who created the first graphic version of Tic Tac Toe in 1952. More notably in 1958 a chain smoking pinball fanatic called William Higginbottom created ‘Tennis for two’, this involved linking an oscilloscope up to an analog Donner computer and allowed two people to play against each other using hand controls.

This then led on to the invention of spacewar! in 1962 this is assumed to be the first recognisable computer game although it ran on a computer the size of a large car - thus, highly impractical. However the game had a simple concept of hitting the other player before been hit yourself, alot of basic games in this era soon followed suit and created similar titles.

Nolan Bushell along with Ted Dabney created the first arcade game in 1971 and tediously labelled it 'Computer Space', this was loosely based on Steve Russel’s spacewar!. Bushell then teamed up with Al Alcorn to create an arcade version of the renowned two-demonsoinal simplistic classic Pong, only a year after he made Computer Space.

The original pioneers of Bushell and Dabney released Atari system in 1972. This kick-started the industry and essentially allowed the game Pong techincally to played at everyone’s home and home video games opitimise the theory of using computers for fun. Atari managed to sell 19,000 Pong machines, along with creating many imitators.

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