Early history of video games
||This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (May 2012)|
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|History of video games|
Alan Turing and colleague D. G. Champernowne wrote a chess playing algorithm. At the time, there was not a computer powerful enough to run the algorithm. The algorithm was tested two times by human versus algorithm matches. The algorithm won once and lost once.
Claude Shannon devised a chess playing program that appeared in the paper "Programming a Computer for Playing Chess" published in Philosophical Magazine. This was the first article on the problem of computer chess, published before anyone had programmed a computer to play chess.
- On May 5, 1951, the NIMROD computer was presented at the Science Museum (London) during the Festival of Britain. Using a panel of lights for its display, it was designed exclusively to play the game of NIM; this was the first instance of a digital computer designed specifically to play a game. NIMROD could play either the traditional or "reverse" form of the game.
- TV engineer named Ralph Baer was asked by the chief engineer at Loral to build "the best television set in the world". Baer came up with an idea for playing games on the television set, but the idea was turned down.
- In November 1951, Dr. Dietrich Prinz wrote the original chess playing program for the Manchester Ferranti computer.
- In 1952, one of the first video games ever made, OXO (also known as Noughts and Crosses) by A. S. Douglas. OXO was written for the EDSAC computer. The game was a Tic-tac-toe based game, played against the computer, and although OXO never gained any real popularity, because the EDSAC was available only at Cambridge, it was still a milestone in the history of video games.
- Christopher S. Strachey created a program on the Ferranti machine which, by the summer of 1952, "could play a complete game of draughts (checkers) at a reasonable speed". Arthur Samuel built on his work to make a checkers-playing program for the IBM 701, which ran at the end of the year.
Tennis for Two was a computer game developed in 1958 on an oscilloscope which simulated a game of tennis or ping pong. It was created by William Higinbotham. Unlike Pong and similar early games, Tennis for Two shows a simplified tennis court from the side instead of a top-down perspective. The ball is affected by gravity and must be played over the net. The game was controlled by an analog computer and "consisted mostly of resistors, capacitors and relays, but where fast switching was needed – when the ball was in play – transistor switches were used".
In 1959, a collection of interactive graphical programs were created on the TX-0 machine at MIT:
- Mouse in the Maze: which allowed users to place maze walls, bits of cheese, and (in some versions) glasses of martini by way of a light pen interacting with the screen. One could then release the mouse and watch it traverse the maze to find the goodies.
- Tic-Tac-Toe: Using the light pen, the user could play a simple game of naughts and crosses against the computer.
A DEC memo M-1098 from March 31, 1961 references a Kalah game playing program developed for the PDP-1, which later became DEC program No. 56 for the PDP-1. The attributed author is Roland Silver.
- Spacewar! is released, one of the earliest known digital computer games. Conceived and written by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students including Stephen Russell who programmed it, Spacewar! first ran in early 1962 on the PDP-1 donated to the school by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Early versions of the game contained a randomly generated background starfield.
- Later, a program called Expensive Planetarium (referring to the price of the PDP-1 computer) was incorporated into the main code, replacing the randomly generated star field. The program was based on real star charts that scrolled slowly: at any one time, 45% of the night sky was visible, showing every star down to the fifth magnitude.
- A number of games can be found available for purchase in an April 1962 IBM program catalog.
|BBC Vik The Baseball Demonstrator||Jack and Paul Burgeson|
|Blackjack Game (tape)||A. J. Lang|
|Blackjack Demonstration (card)||Karl E. Hitt|
|Checker Demonstration Program||Unknown|
|Simulation of a One-Armed Bandit||Dick Conner|
|Three Dimensional Tic-Tack-Toe||H. F. Smith Jr.|
Wallace Feurzeig at BBN (Bolt Beranek and Newman) developed for the PDP-1, a question and answer game, the Socratic System, designed to teach medical students how to diagnose patients. This game was based off an earlier game, The Alphabet Guessing Game, by Judith Harris of BBN.
- Edward Steinberger wrote a dice game for the PDP-5.
- Baseball simulation game written in BASIC by John Kemeny and later edited by Keith Bellairs on January 13, 1965.
Larry Bethurum, from the Phillips Exter Academy, submitted the BASIC source code of a bingo game to the DECUS user group. Comments in the code suggest the game was written on January 23, 1966.
- First basketball simulation game written in BASIC by Charles R. Bacheller in May 1967.
- A baseball game that simulates the 1967 World Series written in BASIC by Jacob Bergmann in August 1967.
- Space Travel is written by Ken Thompson for a Multics system.
- Hamurabi, one of the first strategy games, is released.
A number of games programmed in BASIC can be found in the DECUS library back-up tapes. Most games do not include the name of the programmer or the date the program was written.
|1queen.gam||Plays a game based on chess moves||Unknown||9/2/70|
|apawam.gam||Plays a round of golf at the apawamis country club||Unknown||9/2/70|
|bandit.gam||The computer is a slot machine and you are the player||Unknown||9/21/70|
|batnum.gam||Battle of numbers between user and computer||Unknown||9/21/70|
|bridge.gam||Bridge practice session||Unknown||9/21/70|
|craps.gam||A session at the craps table||Unknown||9/21/70|
|digits.gam||Guesses a sequence of numbers||Unknown||9/2/70|
|ftball.gam||Generates a digital championship football game||John G. Kemeny||9/21/70|
|gamnin.gam||Plays game of Nim||Unknown||9/2/70|
|horserac.gam||A day at the races at South Portland High||Laurie Chevalier||9/2/70|
|learn1.gam||Learns to play a game of "21"||Unknown||9/2/70|
|nim.dem||Plays the ancient game of Nim||Unknown||9/2/70|
|qubic.gam||Plays 3-dimensional Tic Tac Toe||Mark Soelman||9/21/70|
|roulet.gam||Generates game of Roulette||Unknown||9/2/70|
|tictac.gam||Plays game of tic-tac-toe||Unknown||9/2/70|
|war.gam||Plays the card game of war||Unknown||9/21/70|
- On 22 March, Ralph Baer files with the United States Patent and Trademark Office regarding a patent for "television gaming and training apparatus."
- In June, Bill Pitts and Hugh Tuck form Computer Recreations, Inc.
- Magnavox signs a license agreement with Sanders Associates regarding the Odyssey video game console.
- Nakamura Manufacturing Ltd. adopts "Namco" as a brand name.
- In September, Computer Recreations, Inc. installs Galaxy Game, a version of Spacewar! for PDP-11 hardware and the first coin-operated video arcade game, in Tresidder Union at Stanford University.
- In November, Nutting Associates releases 1,500 cabinets of Nolan Bushnell's Computer Space, the first commercially released video game in the arcades.
- Don Rawitsch, Paul Dillenberger and Bill Heinemann, students at Carleton College develop The Oregon Trail for a mainframe with teletype terminals.
- Don Daglow programs the computer baseball game on a PDP-10 mainframe computer at Pomona College.
- Mike Mayfield develops Star Trek on a Scientific Data Systems Sigma 7 minicomputer.
- First video game - which game receives this honor is hotly disputed among video game historians
- Pong Story: Main Page
- "Alan Turing". Retrieved 19 January 2010.
- Nimrod Game Computer
- "Kalah game".
- "Kalah game author".
- "IBM Program Catelog 1962 author".
- "Guessing Games".
- "Dice Game".
- "baseba.gam". baseba.gam.
- Stahl, Ted (ed.) (2005). "Chronology of the History of Video Games / Golden Age". The History of Computing Project. Retrieved 15 February 2006.
- "The Galaxy Game". Computer History Exhibits. 2006. Retrieved 26 August 2006.
- Hunter, William (2005). "Player 1 Stage 1: Bits From the Primordial Ooze". The Dot Eaters. Retrieved 24 August 2006.
- "Namco History (English summary)". NAMCO WonderPage. 2001. Archived from the original on 10 January 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2006.
- GameSpot Editorial Team (2004). "The Greatest Games of All Time / Jimmy Has Dysentery". GameSpot. Retrieved 15 February 2006.
- "Conclusion". Game Design Workshop: Designing, Prototyping, and Playtesting Games. Retrieved 15 February 2006.
- Markowitz, Maury (2000). "Star Trek: To boldly go... and then spawn a million offshoots". Games of Fame. Archived from the original on 9 February 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2006.