What Was the First Video Game?

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With the significant advancement of technology, video games have gained more traction as they got better and more people became interested in them. As the gaming world expanded, so did the different genres of games, so much so that now, even the pickiest gamer would still find something out there that would pique their interest.

As exciting as video games have become, have you ever thought about what the first video game was? What did it look like? Well, it’s not the early hit game Pong. It was something way less sophisticated.

The Origin of Video Games:

We can narrow down the invention of video games to the 1940s. Back then, software was only compatible with computers it was written for, which means people created games with specific hardware in mind. For this reason, the hardware was often disassembled or thrown away after serving its purpose.

The exact origin of the first video game is unknown as there are probably many games from this period we just don’t know about. However, we can still narrow down the origin of video games to a particular year based on available records.

The First Video Game, or Is It?

The actual first video game depends on how you describe the term video game. Let’s say a video game uses video signals transmitted to a display. The display used can include an oscilloscope, vector-scan monitor, cathode ray tube, etc. If we take this definition as the definition of video games, then the cathode ray tube amusement device is the first video game.

Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann made it and filed for a patent in 1947. However, it was never manufactured or sold to the public. This device was the first video game based on World War II. The objective of the game was to hit all the planes in time by sending a missile. Players would move a dot around the screen to target airplanes. The dot would become increasingly harder to control with each successive hit.

First Visuals on Electronic Screen Video Game

In 1952, Alexander S. Douglas created OXO, a software program for the EDSAC computer that simulated a tic-tac-toe game. As EDSAC was unmovable, the game was only playable in the University of Cambridge mathematical laboratory. OXO was created as a part of a thesis on human-computer interaction and disassembled after it served its purpose.

Other games started showing up between 1952 and 1958. One created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student Oliver Aberth for the Whirlwind I computer simulated a bouncing ball. It was the first known game to incorporate graphics in real-time and not when the player moved.

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First Video Game Created Solely for Entertainment

The 1958 public fair at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York, went down in history as another relevant moment for video game development. The purpose of the fair was to show visitors the work done at the lab, hoping to spark their curiosity about science and technology. The lack of interest from the fair attenders pushed Dr. William Higinbotham, Head of the Instrumentation Division, to program a game using parts from the laboratory.

The program simulated a game of tennis and ran on a Donner Model 30 analog computer, displaying a side view of a tennis court on an oscilloscope. Players controlled the angle of their shots with attached controllers. The game calculated and simulated the ball’s path, including the possibility of hitting the net. Tennis for Two is probably the first game created outside a research institute and just for entertainment rather than a research tool.

The Transition to Modern Video Games

Since those early days, video games have gone through tremendous improvement, always keeping up with the technological advancements. The journey from controlling tiny paddles to playing the best casino games at https://goodluckmate.com/ has been nothing short of spectacular. Video games have gone from using oscillators to LCD screens to using stereoscopy for virtual reality gaming. And the best part? The transformation hasn’t ended yet, not by a long shot.

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