Game On!: Video Game History from Pong and Pac-Man to Mario, Minecraft, and More by Dustin HansenFind out about the fast and furious growth and evolution of video games (including how they are quickly taking over the world!) by looking at some of the most popular, innovative, and influential games ever, from Pong, the very first arcade game ever, to modern hits like Uncharted.
Learn about the creators and inspiration (Mario was named after Nintendo’s landlord after he barged into a staff meeting demanding rent), discover historical trivia and Easter eggs (The developers of Halo 2 drank over 24,000 gallons of soda while making the game), and explore the innovations that make each game special (The ghosts in Pac-Man are the first example of AI in a video game).
Whether you consider yourself a hard-core gamer or are just curious to see what everyone is talking about, Game On! is the book for you!
This Month in Physics History
Though video games are found today in homes worldwide, they actually got their start in the research labs of scientists. In , for instance, British professor A. Douglas created OXO , also known as noughts and crosses or a tic-tac-toe, as part of his doctoral dissertation at the University of Cambridge. It was the first video game that could be played on multiple computer installations. In , developers at Sanders Associates, Inc. Over the next few years, the primitive Odyssey console would commercially fizzle and die out.
From the earliest days of computers, people have found ways to play games on them. They had practical reasons to create games. During the s and s, computers took up entire rooms and were so expensive that only universities and large companies could afford them. Most people had both a limited understanding of what these electronic behemoths were able to do and an unfamiliarity with the types of mathematical equations these machines were regularly programmed to compute. It was this mindset that led a group of MIT students during the s to create one of the first and most groundbreaking computer games. Although Spacewar was fun to play, it was never destined for released to the general public, since computers were still too expensive for personal use.
Historic Sites Initiative Locations and details of historic physics events. APS News Archives. Librarians Authors Referees Media Students. Login Become a Member Contact Us. It was a very simple tennis game, similar to the classic s video game Pong, and it was quite a hit at a Brookhaven National Laboratory open house. He graduated from Williams College in , and then went to graduate school in physics at Cornell University.
The Early Days
It would be something of a misnomer to attribute the creation and development of video games to any singular moment or event. Rather, the process can be best described as an ongoing evolution, a long and winding journey of advancements with numerous inventors all playing pivotal roles.
Video games have been around since the early s. The first commercial arcade video game, Computer Space by Nutting Associates , was introduced in In , Atari introduced Pong to the arcades. An interesting item to note is that Atari was formed by Nolan Bushnell , the man who developed Computer Space. He left Nutting Associates to found Atari, which then produced Pong, the first truly successful commercial arcade video game. That same year, Magnavox offered the first home video game system.
The history of video games spans a period of time between the invention of the first electronic games and today, covering a long period of invention and changes. Video gaming reached mainstream popularity in the s and s, when arcade video games , gaming consoles and home computer games were introduced to the general public. Since then, video gaming has become a popular form of entertainment and a part of modern culture in most parts of the world. The early history of video games , therefore, covers the period of time between the first interactive electronic game with an electronic display in , the first true video games in the early s, and the rise of early arcade video games in the s Pong and the beginning of the first generation of video game consoles with the Magnavox Odyssey , both in During this time there was a wide range of devices and inventions corresponding with large advances in computing technology, and the actual first video game is dependent on the definition of "video game" used. Following the invention of the cathode-ray tube amusement device , the earliest known interactive electronic game as well as the first to use an electronic display, the first true video games were created in the early s.
The history of video games goes as far back as the early s, when academic computer scientists began designing simple games and simulations as part of their research or just for fun. These games were played on computer such as the IBM , and moves were made by means of punch cards. Video gaming did not reach mainstream popularity until the s and s, when video arcade games and gaming consoles using joysticks , buttons, and other controllers, along with graphics on computer screens and home computer games were introduced to the general public. Since the s, video gaming has become a popular form of entertainment and a part of modern popular culture in most parts of the world. One of the early games was Spacewar! Early arcade video games developed from to